Customers expect to see computers in most businesses. In fact, many would be surprised to see a lack of computers or similar technology. But many probably don’t realize that the desktop computers and mobile devices seen around an office are just the tip the iceberg. Today, many offices in West Virginia (WV) and elsewhere are using off-site computing solutions, also called cloud solutions. To prove that they’re not just jargon, below is a primer on basic concepts in cloud computing.
WV Small Business Cloud Solutions Defined
What is Cloud Computing?
In simple terms, “the cloud” is a network of computers that provides services or information to a remote user. In other words, the cloud is a computer network that you use, but it is not housed entirely on equipment at your location. The cloud is actually a metaphor for the Internet, the worldwide network of computers used to store and transmit information.
“Cloud computing” refers to the services and technology available for use over the Internet. Examples include data storage, applications, networking, and operating systems. Most often these services, also called “cloud solutions” or “cloud-based computing,” are available on demand, meaning they are not downloaded to the user’s computer but, instead, they are available for use whenever the user reaches out over an Internet connection to use them.
Are There Cloud Solutions in West Virginia?
If you’re wondering whether cloud solutions are available in your state, yes, there are cloud solutions in West Virginia. There are cloud solutions in every state. Because “the cloud” is available anywhere you have an Internet connection, you can find the same cloud solutions in WV that you can find anywhere else. All you need is a computer and access to the Internet.
What WV Small Business Cloud Solutions are Available?
One of the most common cloud services available is cloud storage. With cloud storage in WV and elsewhere, you store your data somewhere online instead of on your own computer or the network in your office. Examples of cloud storage providers that are used by consumers and small businesses alike include Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and Microsoft OneDrive. These are all one-size-fits-all services with little customization. Other companies provide cloud storage options that can be tailored to your business’s unique needs and security requirements.
WV small business cloud solutions also include many of the applications used in companies every day, such as word processing and spreadsheet applications. One type of cloud services makes such applications available for use online. These are sometimes referred to as software as a service (SaaS). Some of the applications commonly used online include Google Docs, a word processing application, and Google Sheets, a spreadsheet application, both of which are free. For a monthly fee, Microsoft Office 365 offers subscriptions to a suite of online applications including Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Depending on the provider, these and other applications are available for use over the Internet either for free or with a subscription. These applications give you access to your work anywhere you have a device and an Internet connection.
Can WV Small Business Cloud Solutions Be Customized?
The cloud solutions from Google and Microsoft mentioned above are fairly straightforward, but they’re also a small piece of the computing puzzle. The user needs only an Internet-ready computer with a browser in order to use any of the applications discussed above. But what if you want a little more control?
In WV cloud services can also include providing the full platform for running your own applications. When purchased by subscription, these services are called platform as a service (PaaS). The service provider sets up and maintains all of the networking, data storage, and servers online, and the business uses its own applications and data on that platform.
The next step beyond platform as a service is infrastructure as a service (IaaS). With IaaS, the business maintains its own applications, data, operating system, and middleware, while the cloud service provider handles all of the networking, servers, and storage.
Is cloud computing right for your business? With cloud computing in WV, you can access your applications and data from any device with an Internet connection. This frees you and your employees to work when and where they need to. And when more of your IT needs are met by cloud services, you have less in IT maintenance.
Is There a WV Small Business Cloud Solutions Firm Near Me?
Which level of cloud service is right for you? The answer depends on the equipment you have, your particular IT needs, your IT budget, and your ability to maintain your own IT systems.
If you want to investigate using any level of cloud computing in WV, contact the experienced professionals at ComTech Consulting, LLC by calling (304) 720-8491 or by email at Sales@ComTechSBS.com. We are ready to help you get the most out of WV small business cloud solutions.