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With the growing amount of information that is managed electronically, the cloud has become indispensable in our use of software and data, and throughout our daily business lives. So, what exactly is cloud computing, and why is it so important? Here, we answer your most frequently asked questions about the cloud.
Cloud (computing) means data and applications are stored on remote servers located in data centres, and are accessed by users over the internet, rather than locally through a hard drive or a local network server. Cloud allows small- and medium-sized businesses to access their data and applications securely on demand, without having to invest in their own hardware and software. We partner with many trusted cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and IBM to provide cloud solutions to our customers.
Need to introduce your team to cloud computing? Learn more about the basics.
Some of the biggest benefits of cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) include security and data protection, cost savings, always up-to-date software, improved scalability, and increased accessibility and agility
Cloud computing offers three service models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). IaaS provides users with virtualised infrastructure resources, PaaS provides a platform for developing, deploying, and managing applications, and SaaS provides complete software applications that users can access over the internet.
Interested in this topic? Learn more about the differences in types of cloud services.
Depending on the type of cloud service you are considering, investigate the various types of software available to your company and the associated features that you need, as well as the total costs of implementing the software and service. Also consider cloud computing models, security features, performance and availability, scalability of features as you grow, integration with your existing technologies, and vendor support services.
Start by choosing a reputable cloud service provider that offers robust security measures, such as data encryption, access control, network security, patch control, and data backup. Educate your employees on security best practices and provide them with training on how to handle sensitive information and avoid common security threats, such as phishing attacks and malware infections.
There are a number of easy, inexpensive solutions to avoid lost access to cloud applications in the event of an internet outage. For customers with unstable or unreliable internet, we recommend a cellular wireless access point or a router that fails over to cellular wireless automatically if the hard-line goes down. Another option, if you have very unstable internet is to obtain a secondary provider.
Security: Organisations need to ensure that their data is secure during transit, storage, and use, and that access to cloud resources is properly authenticated and authorised.
Data integration: Ensuring data consistency, data quality, and data synchronisation can be difficult, especially when moving large volumes of data to the cloud.
Performance: Network latency, bandwidth, and other factors can impact performance, and organisations need to have the appropriate infrastructure to support their cloud applications.
Compliance: Organisations need to ensure that their provider is compliant with relevant regulations and has the necessary controls in place to meet their compliance requirements.
Staffing and training: Choose a provider that offers training and/or resources for your staff to use the cloud tools.
Cloud computing costs can vary depending on the cloud service provider and the specific services used. Generally, cloud computing offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which can provide cost savings compared to on-premise IT costs that require significant upfront capital expenditures. Cloud computing also offers the ability to scale resources up or down based on demand, providing flexibility and cost savings.
Cloud service providers offer a variety of services and tools that allow you to tailor your cloud environment to meet your unique requirements. For example, you can choose the types of cloud computing model, services, and software you need and have the service provider configure them to your specific business needs. You can also customise your network architecture, security settings, and access controls to meet your specific security needs. Additionally, many cloud service providers offer APIs and development tools that allow you to build custom applications and integrations that extend the functionality of your cloud environment.
Choose a reputable cloud service provider with a demonstrable record of uptime and reliability and make sure that there is a testing period so that you can verify availability and reliability before making significant investments.
At ECI, we offer cloud-based solutions that help small- and medium-sized businesses maintain data security best practices. We use encryption and strong firewalls to ensure the highest level of protection as well as advanced cybersecurity techniques such as continuous monitoring for detecting and stopping unauthorised access. This means that only authorised users can access their data through highly secure identity and access management. Your data is kept safely in a remote location, automatically backed up, and can be quickly recovered if something like a natural disaster, fire, or theft occurs.
The cloud is part of a larger trend that is radically shaping your industry. Learn more about digital transformation!
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