Technology moves pretty fast these days. As a result, there are terms that come into usage that are perhaps bandied about, but not really well understood.

One of these terms is cloud computing. You hear about it a lot, but it’s not really clearly defined. I’m hoping that this post will demystify the term for people who aren’t computer savvy.

It’s actually really simple. Cloud computing is using internet services rather than your own dedicating computing resources to manage your computing needs.

For example, most businesses used to have their own email system. An alternative to that is to use Gmail for your business email.

I worked in corporate IT for a number of years and I know that there is so much that needs to be done if you choose to use your own hardware. For example you need to backup the system so that you don’t lose your data in the event of a disaster, you need virus protection, you need firewalls. You probably even need to duplicate the hardware so that if it fails, you still have an email system. There are also software and hardware upgrades to consider, as well as monitoring the system to ensure that all is well with it.

If instead you use Gmail, all of that is their problem.

Other examples of this are Microsoft’s OneDrive for file storage, and Dropbox, for file sharing.

With these services available, it simply doesn’t make sense to insist on your own hardware. You pay a very high price just to say, “It’s mine”.

Anyway, that’s a quick summary of what cloud computing is. I hope it has helped to demystify a fairly simple term.

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