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Pegasus Blog

Cloud computing

May 13, 2015

If you don’t know what cloud computing is, you’re not alone. A survey by Citrix revealed that 51% of respondents thought stormy weather would affect cloud computing and 29% thought it concerned actual clouds in the sky.

Everyone is talking about cloud computing at the moment but there are a lot of misconceptions about what the term actually means.

What is cloud computing?

So let’s start by clarifying what “cloud computing” actually is. Cloud computing is a means of accessing data on remote servers hosted on the internet, rather than local servers or personal computers. It essentially lets you access data at any time, from anywhere and on a number of devices. For example, you could access software via a web login, rather than having it installed on your computer. Many of us use cloud-based technology every day without even realising it: social networking sites, email and online banking are all examples of cloud-based technology.

As we move into a phase of economic growth, the ability to accurately anticipate cashflow has never been more important. Although you cannot always control when customers pay, the good news is that through accessing your data on the move, you can instil greater rigour and diligence across the order cycle.

Advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing

There are many reasons why cloud computing has become the fastest-growing area of the internet in recent times and is transforming the way businesses do business. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Advantages of cloud computing

One of the main benefits of cloud computing is flexibility. Information can be accessed any time, from anywhere and on a number of devices; whether you’re on a desktop PC in the office, a laptop on public transport or even using a tablet or smartphone on the other side of the world! Cloud-based systems also provide a backup so you don’t lose your files if your computer crashes or breaks down. In a recent survey by InformationWeek , 65% of respondents admitted that flexibility was their biggest drive when moving to cloud-based systems.

Cloud-based solutions are quicker to set up and require a lot less resource from IT technicians. It’s all tested in one place and doesn’t have to be implemented across lots of individual desktop computers. This makes it easier for you to scale up your system, add more employees and adapt as your business changes, a more efficient option.

Cloud security

Security updates and maintenance will be managed by your cloud server provider. This means you’ll spend less time managing your IT and ensuring your security measures are up to date. In addition, your local PCs don’t need to be the highest specification and it doesn’t matter if they haven’t got lots of hard drive space. All of which means more time and resources dedicated to doing the stuff that matters.

There are other security benefits too. It’s estimated that 800,000 laptops are lost or stolen each year in airports alone. It would cause major implications if everything was stored locally to your hard drive, but when you use cloud-based systems, you can still access your data, no matter what happens to your laptop or whose hands it lands in.

There are plenty of positives to cloud computing, but our summary wouldn’t be complete without looking at the potential downsides too.

Data security

The biggest worry businesses normally have with cloud-based systems is the question of where their data is stored and who has access to it. Cloud server providers typically take security precautions very seriously and often implement higher security measures than most businesses can manage in-house. Regular server backups are also implemented to protect against data loss.

Cloud services: Summary

In summary, cloud computing is transforming the way businesses operate, and for good reason. Cloud services offer flexibility, ease of maintenance and cost savings are just some of the benefits that cloud computing offers. In our upcoming blog posts we’ll be looking specifically at the reasons to use cloud based business and accounting software.