By Leane Hannigan, Cloud Solutions Director, WestconGroup Southern Africa
In knowing and understanding the cloud, there are four types of people. There are those who have absolutely no clue about what it is, what it does or how it works, then there are those who have an idea but wouldn’t bet their money on it, there are those who know enough to make an informed decision around cloud and then there is the expert.
Now, despite the fact that cloud has been around for years, 75% of people are still between the not having a clue about cloud and having a vague idea stages. They may be using cloud in their businesses but they do not fully understand what it is and the business opportunities it presents. Which is why I have taken on the responsibility to speak out about cloud and create more awareness around it, and with this provide a bit of a cloud crash-course, and with this I wish to demystify cloud and the evolution of technology.
Now the first thing you’ll need to know before you understand cloud, is what it is not. Cloud is not:
- Your hard drive – that is considered local or physical infrastructure
- Your company network – that is still your internal LAN or WAN
- Just the Internet – the Internet as we now know is not just a web page filled world
- Your data centre – again that is local or physical infrastructure
And then you may need to know the myths around cloud. The first thing you should know is that your data is safe in the cloud as long as you are partnered with a cloud provider that makes sure of it. Secondly, your data is not restricted to being stored within the borders of South Africa, there is no local law prohibiting you from storing your data outside of the country. Thirdly, using cloud does not require you to be connected to the Internet at all times. Fourthly, it’s myth that there is not enough bandwidth in South Africa to support cloud, most often companies may just have small lines, or aren’t on the right package. And lastly, it is not cheaper to do IT yourself.
There are three types of cloud you may have heard of. Public cloud, Private cloud and Hybrid cloud. Each operates in a unique way and caters for different needs. But this is the tip of the ice berg and in order for you to understand what cloud can do for your business you will have to take into account what your business needs from cloud. If you are a part of the 75% of people in the “unsure” space then you should download our upcoming e-book on all things cloud that goes back to basics.
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