What exactly is the Cloud?

Jul 08, 2020

Companies are increasingly transferring their processes to the digital world to take advantage of the latest technologies. This also includes the use of cloud - applications. In 2018, 81% of the companies surveyed in the USA already had a multi-cloud strategy. European companies have also discovered the benefits of cloud services and are following this trend. According to a survey in 2018, 73% of companies in Germany reported the use of cloud computing, and the percentage is rising.

Nevertheless, there are still a lot of sceptics out there, to whom we would like to point out the opportunities and added value of digitisation.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing describes an IT infrastructure that offers application software (programs), storage space or computing power without the need to install or store these structures on the local computer. The user can access these services via a web browser at any time and any place. The provider is responsible for keeping the infrastructure of the service up to date.

What are the advantages of working with cloud services?

Cloud computing brings a wide range of benefits for the private user but especially for companies:

1. Location independence
Access to programs or data in the cloud is via the network. Therefore, all that is required to use cloud services is Internet access. This enables enormous flexibility. Employees can access company data, and company programs outside the office and data don't need to be copied from one computer to another, as it is stored centrally and accessible to every employee. Thus, it is easier to implement work concepts such as home office or remote work, for example. Besides, many cloud services also offer mobile versions allowing access via the smartphone on buses and trains.

2. Lower investment costs
Hardware with excellent performance is expensive and must be constantly upgraded to keep it "up to date". By using cloud computing, the investment costs of equipment with strong computing power or large data storage are saved, since the cloud services are executed on external servers of the cloud provider. The cloud provider ensures that its servers are always compliant with the latest IT standards, which reduces the company's maintenance costs. The user is independent of the hardware and can use the cloud services, for example, on low-performance computers or several different computers. If additional computing power is required, for example, for a current project, the computing power can be booked for the desired period and cancelled afterwards. This way, it is not necessary to purchase new hardware that will not be needed later.

3. Flexible scalability of IT performance
Cloud services are booked from the cloud provider, individually. For example, a certain number of user licenses is purchased, depending on the number of employees. If the needs of the company change, new licenses can be added or existing licenses can be cancelled flexibly. In this way, costs are always kept as low as possible. In addition, the use of the application software, which is usually billed monthly, allows the company's expenses to be calculated very well. If the company is expanded by new locations, these locations or stores can be connected to the existing IT infrastructure quickly and economically.

4. Reduced administration effort
The maintenance of IT services no longer needs to be performed by the company's administrator but is taken over by the cloud provider. The installation of services on employee computers is also no longer necessary.

5. Data backup
A local server failure can quickly lead to the loss of important company data. By moving the company data to the cloud, this risk is minimised because the cloud provider takes care of the backup of the data. Servers located in Germany also comply with the strict security regulations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

6. Diversity
The range of cloud services is enormous and covers every industry. You are looking for a program for a niche problem - most likely, a cloud solution already exists for it. Due to a large number of similar products, it is not necessary to take the first one found, but a detailed comparison of services is possible, and the chosen product can be tested.

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VIPFY is supported by the CISPA Helmholtz Centre for Information Security and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


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