The Cloud is a nebulous phrase that since it's naming in 2006 by Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, has lead to many head scratches and blank stares. "What is the cloud" gives over 3 million search results, and every single one is a different definition. For our followers, we will risk the potential witchhunt and define the 'cloud' in a reasonable, common sense way. So what who cares? Cloud business is expanding so rapidly that market projections show a shift in over $1 trillion in spending. It's a big deal. 

The Cloud is a global network of servers.

That's it. The cloud is a massive network of servers connected through the internet. The cloud is not a physical entity, but the data within the cloud is located in massive data centers across the globe. If you use gmail, drive, dropbox, facebook, twitter, pretty much any online service or web app, your data is in the cloud. 

So, here are 7 Things about the cloud that you need to know

  1. The shift to the cloud is usually financially motivated. The cloud and cloud services are leagues cheaper than conventional methods to manage client-server architecture. rather than having all of your business's data onsite, in an unsafe network, it is stored in an incredibly secure data center. These data centers are often closer than you think. Additionally, the cloud enables smooth scalability as your business expands.
  2. The Cloud is big. It stores about 1 exabyte. That is 1024 petabytes, or 1,048,576 terabytes, or 1,073,741,824 gigabytes, or 1,099,511,627,776 megabytes. To put that in perspective, one song on your phone is anywhere from 2-4 megabytes, a movie can be anywhere from 3-5gb depending on quality, and large programs(and video games) are usually under 100gb.
  3. People are still wary of cloud security: The cloud is perfectly suitable for non-sensitive documents, and this is often free. Cloud security has become a massive business, and many cloud providers key selling point is the security of their services. If you are interested in migrating to the cloud, make sure that the security features of the services you are exploring are clearly defined and easy to understand
  4.  The available market for cloud computing is projected to be $241 Billion by 2020. Projections vary, some project upwards of $300 billion. The number of technologies emerging from cloud computing is going to completely reshape the modern economy. Beacon technology, cloud storage, web applications, and more are all going to become business as usual. 
  5. Many companies are not aware of all of the cloud based services they are using. This may sound odd, and a bit terrifying, but a lot of services have migrated to the cloud. Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud platform for excel, powerpoint, outlook, word, and the rest of their applications. New versions of these tools aren't downloaded onto your computer but instead are used directly through the internet. 
  6. A large portion of security breaches are down by in-house employees who don't know any better. There are many bad cloud services masquerading as legitimate, and often easily fool less tech-savvy employees. It is essential that employees are aware of the uses and extend of the cloud services available. 
  7. 80% of data goes to just over 10 cloud services. Box, Dropbox, and youtube make up over 40% of 'the cloud' Office 365 is 7%. It is important to know where the data in your business is stored, or where it has been used. Chances are there are bits of business documents throughout various accounts in your building (not much different than before), but it is now more accessible. 

There are 7 key things about the cloud to walk away with. You may have noticed a trend. Security in the cloud is going to be a crucial driver in the growth and success of cloud computing and its role in the economy. We have passed critical mass, and if you haven't adopted cloud computing in your business in some way, it's time to start. 

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