Most businesses these days either move some if not all of their computer operations to the Cloud. It’s almost as important as having a website. But what is the cloud?
The cloud concepts have been around for many decades. When computers were relatively rare and expensive, say in the 1950s, they were used by several people at once, each person having their own terminal. No one person needed all the computer power at once, so the resources were shared out amongst many people. Shared computer resources on a mainframe computer were the system of the day.
By the 1970s the system moved from several people using one mainframe computer to several computers existing in one physical hardware system. This meant virtual computers became the standard, at least for some.
Cloud progresses further from the virtual shared computer. The user/company can have a computer system suited to their needs designed inside another larger system. They can then access this in the same way that anybody can access the internet. The operating system, services, software, infrastructure and everything else are (ideally) designed to work as one large, coherent system. There is no new physical computer, at least as far as the user is concerned. Instead their terminal/home computer accesses a bigger computer online, one set up for their purposes.
A great advantage of this is the unlimited access. Authorized employees can access work from anywhere; no need to come to the office or take files home on a portable drive. It basically works as a mainframe that authorized people can access anywhere.
A great advantage of this is the system can expand to suit the need of the company/user. There is no need to buy a huge computing system and find you need less than half of it, or find that a recently purchased mid-sized system proves inadequate now that your company has expanded. Cloud can easily be made to match the changing size of your needs.