The Definitive Guide on When to Use Cloud Computing

Is that really the Question?

Years ago, when I worked for a small company in the private sector, I would frequently take lunch in the break room at the same time as some guys from the IT department. Often I would overhear them joking, where inevitably, one of them would stand up, and in his best Hamlet voice (whatever that’s supposed to sound like) ask with deadpan humor: “To Cloud or Not to Cloud?! That is the question!” And they would collapse into hysterics. 

I had no idea what was so funny, but one day decided to chime in: “Well, gentleman, I guess that depends on the weather forecast!” Silence. They turned their head toward me, like synchronized swimmers. 

And stared at me.  

Then one of them glanced at his watch, and announced lunch was over. One by one they stood up and emptied the break room. All except for one. He approached my table, where I had sheepishly returned to eating my sandwich.

“I’m Tyler.” he said. “That was so not funny, it was funny.”

I looked up. “But none of our jokes are, either. Which is why it’s always so funny.” 

“So then why didn’t they laugh?” I asked. He seemed to consider this for a moment, but in the end, only shrugged. I nodded toward the empty chair across from me and he sat down. 

“So what exactly is this Cloud I keep hearing so much about? Everyone has been talking about it for so long, but I’m embarrassed to say I really don’t understand much about it. I guess I can only pretend I have a clue for so long, huh?”

Tyler’s eyes lit up. “Meet me here tomorrow at the usual time, and I’ll explain everything.” He got up and was gone. Then his head appeared from around the corner: “Don’t worry, I’ll bring the cotton balls and straws!”

I blinked. I didn’t know it at the time, but Tyler’s crash course using crude dollar-store props would prove invaluable. Especially when I left to start my own small business later on. Why am I telling you this?

Because I know some of you are reading this and I used to be you. Confused but too embarrassed to admit I didn’t know the first thing about cloud computing. And guess what? You don’t need to know everything. That’s why you have Buzz Cybersecurity. But it will help you tremendously to know the basics so you can make an educated decision about how to best protect your business and increase your efficiency at the same time. So here are the top 3 questions we get about The Cloud:

  1. What is it? The Cloud, or cloud computing, refers to storing data on the internet via a network of remote servers as opposed to on the hard drive of a personal computer. Years ago, storage was done almost exclusively on hard drives, but there are several reasons now why this is considered an outdated method. Not only are you limited to only accessing the data in terms of location, but if that drive becomes damaged, your files are lost for good unless you manually backed them up. With cloud computing, your data is uploaded and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
  2. Why is cloud computing important? This question alone could inspire a blog all its own, but the short answer is that cloud technology makes businesses more efficient. Nowadays, business is done from coffee shops, airports, hotel rooms, and everything in between. Can you imagine being confined to one location to do business? I didn’t think so. There’s also the cost factor. Businesses are not responsible for acquiring or maintaining the resources that cloud computing offers. They only pay for the services they’ll use on a pay-as-you-go basis. And last, but not least: security. While data breaches are not 100% preventable anywhere, cloud technology offers security that is superior to anything else out there, in addition to the fact that disaster recovery that backs up and restores data is a non-negotiable in the 21st century.
  3. Can you explain the different types of cloud computing? Glad you asked! If you’re new to the concept of cloud technology, this might seem a little involved, but not to worry. Our support team will be happy to explain it in more detail later, but for now, what you need to know is that there are 3 types: IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), PaaS (Platform as a service), and SaaS (Software as a service).
    • IaaS refers to the basic infrastructure of data storage drives, virtual servers, and network operating systems. It is by far the most widely used of all the types, primarily because of the flexibility, scalability, and reliability it provides to business owners, as well as the removal of the need for having hardware in the office.
    • PaaS happens when cloud computing providers deploy the software framework and the infrastructure, while still allowing for businesses to create and run their own applications with systems strong enough to support them. This type of cloud computing is also ideal for situations where there are multiple people developing a single project.
    • Saas is primarily used when businesses pay via subscription, and involves deploying software over the internet. It’s ideal for applications that require lots of web or mobile access, as well as businesses who like the idea of their cloud solution being managed from a central location and who don’t want to manage it themselves. Great for short-term projects!

These are some basics, but it’s enough to get you started on understanding cloud technology, as well as help you avoid making lame jokes around your tekkie friends like I did. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. We highly encourage you to reach out to our team of Cloud Experts here. You’ll be glad you did. Because To Cloud or Not to Cloud isn’t really the question at this point. Of course we Cloud! After all of these years, the question is now What’s Stopping You?