The “Cloud” is a relatively new, trendy and confusing term that marketers and IT professionals use to define different platforms, applications or processes. The confusion exists because the cloud is not a single physical thing.
The cloud in its most basic sense is simply a network of servers working together that perform different functions or operations. Some common examples of functions those servers perform are:
- Run Applications or Deliver a Service. (Think Netflix or QuickBooks online)
- Securely Store Important Information. (Think DVM Safe to back-up your practice data or Apple’s iCloud to store pictures from your phone)
Why are so many things going to the cloud?
Utilizing the cloud can provide businesses of all sizes many benefits. The cloud allows us to offer and tap into the resources and expertise of other companies like never before.
For example: A small business might use a software program hosted in the cloud instead of one that resides on the server infrastructure within their business because of the many potential benefits, such as:
1) Lower up-front investment cost: Typically, when using a solution hosted in the cloud, it helps to reduce the size, footprint, and amount of hardware and infrastructure that is needed to manage and run the software within your business.
2) Easily Share and Collaborate: Because applications or information in the cloud can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere there is an internet connection, the ability to share, collaborate, produce and transmit information is easier than ever before.
2) Better controls and security. By using services from expert providers in the cloud, a small business with benefit from having dedicated IT resources who are constantly monitoring, maintaining and improving the reliability and security of the cloud based application you’re using. Think about it this way; technology companies spend billions of dollars on resources and team members who are specifically dedicated to working to ensure their cloud infrastructure is stable, reliable and secure for all their customers.
So why back-up to the cloud.
First, when you work with a reliable and knowledgeable back-up partner to encrypt and back-up your information to the cloud, you’ll likely be sending your information to some of the most secure back-up locations in the world.
Second – By backing up to the cloud, you’re able to improve the reliability of your back-up. A common back-up process for many small businesses is simply back-up to an external hard drive. If this is the only back-up an office has, it can be quite risky because of the high failure rate of external storage drives. A network of cloud based servers, which back-up and protect some of the most critically important information in the world is significantly more reliable.
Lastly, by backing up to the cloud you’re able to remove yourself from the manual aspects of the back-up process, enabling you to focus on what you love doing best, helping your patients.