You have heard of the cloud and have been told how great it is, but why is that and what is the cloud?
More and more people today are moving to the cloud, many without even realising it, using the cloud for storage, banking, email and software, like Microsft Office 365. A survey by Right Scale found that 95% of organisations today are using the cloud in some way, many of them not even realising it.
What is the Cloud?
Traditionally we have stored all our files and managed our databases on servers or computers in our office or home. The cloud is still made up of computers, known as servers, however they are constantly managed, maintained, backed-up and protected in data centers whose sole purpose is to ensure the security and reliable running of the servers.
Unlike many servers in the workplace, cloud servers are strongly protected from being attacked by hackers, using advanced firewalls, encryption as well as other security measures. A firewall is in essence a “wall of fire” that stops a hacker getting past it. We all have basic software firewalls on our computers, however these are vulnerable from attack by things such as phishing, spyware and viruses. HireHop only uses the world’s largest cloud platform, Amazon’s AWS, which powers a huge proportion of the internet, from NASA, Netflix and banks such as Capital One, companies who supply important and vital services and who all trust and rely on the cloud.
“What if the Cloud Breaks?”
The only way the entire cloud could break, is if the World Wide Web broke, which would probably cause an “apocalypse” in people’s lives. To safeguard against any equipment or even power failure, some companies (like HireHop) who provide cloud services use multiple servers located in different parts of the world, meaning if a data center in Europe catches fire, a data center in America, with duplicate data, instantly takes over.
Another question that many people ask is “what if my internet goes down?”. If your internet supplier has a fault and you can’t access the internet, you always have your phone as a backup, you can even tether your phone to your computer or use a WiFi hotspot.
Advantages of using the Cloud
As mentioned before, most of us use the cloud and don’t even know it, so what advantages are there in using the cloud over managing your own data on your own servers.
Cost Benefits Explained
The cost savings are the most obvious compared to running your own server and infrastructure at your workplace.
To properly maintain your own server you need to regularly do backups, security updates and generally maintain it, all taking time, and of course time costs money. You also need the equipment and infrastructure (good quality servers and peripherals are not cheap), as well as the electricity and bandwidth. By using the cloud you can share the running costs with thousands of other people, yet still have your own private and even more secure services only accessible by you. Not only this, you are protected even further with the best servers and other equipment such as advanced firewalls and load balancers (things that all cost a fortune) for a tiny percentage of what they would cost you to buy.
Another cost advantage is a term you may have heard, being SaaS (Software as a Service). This is a subscription model where you don’t have to pay an extortionate upfront cost, instead you pay low affordable recurring monthly payments based on how many users actually need to use the system. With SaaS like HireHop, you also get support included instead of having to pay an additional recurring support fee to the software company.
Any Device, Anywhere
Cloud software such as HireHop is accessible on any device such as a PC, Mac, phone, smart TV or tablet, as long as it has a web browser, allowing you to use and instantly access it anywhere in the world, enabling you to keep up to date wherever you are. Gone are the days of telling clients “I will email you a new quote when I get back to the office”, good cloud software like HireHop enables you to email a beautifully formatted quote, overlaid onto your company stationery from anywhere in the world on any device, enabling your client to get your quote instantly and ahead of your competitors.
Automatic and Hassle Free Updates and Bug Fixes
We have all experienced annoying updates and having to wait for them to install. Old fashioned legacy software requires you to regularly install updates on every machine and server, always resulting in down time, and often having to reinstall when things go wrong.
Imagine if updates were just done without you even knowing or experiencing any interruption. This is another huge advantage of cloud software, updates just happen automatically with no inconvenience.
Occasionally your computer or iPad might break down. Instead of having to install, setup and re-configure software on a new machine, with cloud software you just need go to a new machine and just log in with a web-browser, carrying on where you left off.
Increased and Efficient Collaboration
Cloud software allows you and your team to work in real-time, anywhere and at any time, allowing you to instantly see what they are doing or any changes they have made.
HireHop also allows you to further collaborate using other SaaS products, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365, by integrating their documents, etc, into a job or project just by dragging and dropping the document’s web address, meaning everything you or your team needs is available on one system.
As your data can be accessed on any machine, is it secure? The answer is yes, as long as you are using good cloud software like HireHop.
Any good cloud software like HireHop (just like your bank) use multiple security measures such as HTTPS and other forms of encryption and security. When you change sensitive passwords or log in, you do so through a secure HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure). This guarantees that your connection is secure and that the communications sent and received using your browser are verified and encrypted. You access your online banking via the HTTPS using the cloud as well as your personal tax records, and these are secure due to this same level of security.
The cloud market is rapidly expanding, with more and more companies (including your competitors) adopting the cloud due to its numerous advantages. No matter if you are a large or small company, you should be urgently looking at cloud based software solutions.
Call us at HireHop so that our staff, who have extensive experience in the rental industry, can advise you and answer any questions you may have.