Cloud computing: What is it and how can it help you and your business?

~~Something we hear a lot about lately is “the cloud.” But what is it exactly and why has it become important in both the business and private sectors?  The term is so popular these days that it has become somewhat a cliché. And within that cliché, it has become harder and harder to define this nebulous term that everyone seems to keep flinging around. Some even go as far as defining the cloud as anything outside your firewall. But cloud computing is really more a great way for your business to add computing capacity and capabilities without investing in costly infrastructure and the time it takes to get these physical, site-based systems up and running including training personnel in its use, software licensing. Cloud computing involves subscription or pay-per-use services that can increase your company’s computing capabilities by using the internet. These services usually involve renting out space on a server or remote computer and retrieving the information stored in that space or using that remote system’s computing powers for your business needs. These services include, but are not limited to, applications like word processing and accounting, secure data storage, and spam filtering to name a few. These services are offered through a wide variety of companies, large and small. It can be difficult to know which service, subscription or application is right for you.
TRA Consulting, a computer solutions firm based in Long Beach, can help you decide which cloud computing options might work best for your small or medium-sized business and then help you implement those services. But first, let’s discuss the kinds of subscriptions and services that are available to you through cloud computing. Desktop management services are one of the aspects of cloud computing that has been around the longest. This allows updates, software downloads and computer maintenance on your business’ computers to be done from a remote location. Another aspect of cloud computing is software as a service or SaaS. This allows users to access a program or application through the internet which sometimes makes it cheaper than hosting the application on your own local servers and avoiding costly software licensing. SaaS is commonly used for Human Resources apps and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning, a popular business management software). Online data storage is another aspect of cloud computing, these services are helping to augment datacenters through the use of virtual commodity servers. There are some web services that are also important parts of cloud computing. These web services offer APIs (application programming interface) that allow you to do payroll processing, postal services, credit card processing and mapping all through cloud computing.
While the term cloud computing is still a mystery to most and can mean a number of different things to different people, there are many great ways that cloud computing can help you and your business thrive. Contact TRA Consulting, Inc. today to find out how we can help you expand your businesses computing power without much extra cost.