What exactly is the cloud?
The cloud is your new home. The cloud allows you to run. All data stored in the cloud Accessible from the cloud: It seems that everything happens “in the clouds”. But what is this mysterious concept?
It’s located at the other end of your internet connection. This is where you can access apps, services, and your data can be securely stored. Three reasons the cloud is so important:
- You don’t have to do anything except maintain it or manage it.
- You don’t have to worry about the capacity running out.
- Cloud-based services and applications can be accessed from any location – all that is required is an internet connection.
This shift is evident in computer hardware sales. In 2015, about 270,000,000 laptop and desktop computers will be sold. Compare that to 325,000,000 tablets and nearly 2 billion smartphones. This is significant because office-based work has been replaced by working from home.
The cloud is a great place to host business software such as customer relationship management (CRM). This software can be accessed reliably from any device, any time, anywhere, by any user, at any time.
Cloud Computing: The History
Although the Internet was founded in the 1960s and has been around since then, it only became relevant for businesses in the 1990s. In 1991, the World Wide Web was created. In 1993, a browser called Mosaic allowed users to view web pages with both graphics and text. The first company websites were created in 1991. Most of them belonged to technology and computing companies.
An Application Service Provider, or ASP, was born as internet connections became faster and more reliable. ASPs take existing business applications and run them on the Internet for a monthly charge.
Cloud computing, as we know it today, was not invented until the 1990s. Salesforce’s multi-tenant application was created to accomplish three specific tasks.
- Run “in the clouds.”
- Access the Internet via a web browser
- Low cost, a large number of customers at once
The cloud has only grown in popularity since then. Cloud services spending is expected to grow exponentially, from $70 billion in 2015 to $141 billion in 2019.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is an important function of cloud computing.
Learn more about SaaS and how it provides a range of services via cloud computing.
How cloud computing works
A cloud app is as easy as opening a browser and logging in to get started.
A field sales representative can access all information from their mobile device using a cloud-based CRM. Contact notes can be updated instantly always to be current and complete. No need to wait to return to the office to enter it. Sales managers can see exactly which deals are closing and when from their computers at work or on their phones or tablets when they’re out and about.
This is all done without purchasing or managing hardware or software to install or update. The cloud company that hosts the app is responsible for all hardware and software requirements. Salesforce, a company with years of experience managing cloud infrastructures, can help you make sure it’s reliable and secure, so you don’t have.
All kinds of apps can be run in the cloud
- Google Apps for Business allows you to create and collaborate on spreadsheets and documents.
- Skype video conference with colleagues
- Using the Salesforce Platform, you can manage your Sales & Customer Service functions and other key business processes.
It is possible to create your mobile, social and real-time employee apps that you can run in the cloud. Cloud computing makes business apps more mobile and collaborative with the latest innovations.
Social CRM in the Cloud
You’ve likely come to expect timely information from social media users. Sales Cloud and other business applications are moving in this direction.
Chatter, a social CRM, can help you solve a problem, share your accomplishments, or collaborate with others. Chatter Enterprise Social Network allows you to ask questions, and other employees can help you get the answers.
Who uses the cloud for their business?
Most people don’t realize that the cloud is an integral part of their daily lives. Many people would find life without the cloud very different. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Spotify, and Instagram would all be gone.
Cloud services have also transformed the business landscape. Cloud services are used by millions of organizations around the globe for everything, from document creation and backup to accounts and social CRM. This is just the beginning.
This is how it looks:
- Cloud apps and services are used by 545 companies with more than 25,000 employees.
- On average, 1.09 billion people use Facebook daily as of March 2016.
- More than half of Internet users use cloud-based email services such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail to send and receive messages.
What is so special about the cloud?
Cloud adoption has been rapid and widespread. These are the top reasons:
Register now, and you can instantly use an app in the cloud. Even enterprise applications with the largest scope are often up and running within days or weeks, rather than months or even years.
There are no up-front fees.
You can skip the arbitrary upfront costs such as licenses, integration fees and consultants and get to the goods. Cloud software allows you to reduce or even eliminate; capital expenditure costs dramatically. Instead of paying a monthly fee, you pay a flat monthly fee.
Cloud-based applications allow you to increase or decrease the number of users as your requirements change. This means that you only pay for what you use, and there is no risk of running out.
Cloud applications are much more efficient than traditional IT staff who can spend hours patching, updating, and testing applications every month. It’s all done in the cloud so your staff can focus on new projects or innovations.
Access from anywhere
Cloud applications can be accessed securely from anywhere, on any device. You can sync it to your tablet or handheld device, and then you’re good for go.
Large businesses lose on average 265 laptops per year. If they contain sensitive data, each loss can have serious security implications. Cloud applications store your data securely in the cloud, so any stray laptop is not a problem.
What is the cloud’s safety?
Cloud security and privacy are important issues in today’s digital age, especially since data is no longer stored in folders or physically archived in an office. Millions of records are created every day and stored digitally in cloud storage.
You should pay particular attention to the security standards provided by the cloud provider. These include measures to secure your employees’ transmission, storage, and access rights.
Salesforce recognizes that confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer data are critical to our success and their business processes.
Our cloud security tiered approach protects the most sensitive data. We constantly monitor and optimize our applications, systems, and processes to meet safety and security requirements.
These qualities should be a top priority for any cloud service provider that you are considering.
Take the first step.
Many of your business apps have a cloud capability, from office productivity to CRM and business management tools. This allows you to move your apps in the cloud at your own pace.
The business case is strong because it has predictable costs, low risk, and offers flexibility immediately. You only need to take the first step.