Storing my data where?
The Cloud offers the ability to store your data/database on a remote server, which you access over the internet. Whether you access the data through a website or a software program, your data is not stored locally on your own hard drives as was common practice up until recently. You can still use a desktop application to connect to to a cloud hosted database, although you also gain the option of using a web interface that is designed to function on mobile and desktop devices. Generally, you receive better performance out of the web based version when cloud hosted, as it is less dependent on a low latency connection than the desktop client for an optimal experience.
What does this mean for me?
By transferring your data to the Cloud you receive some key benefits:
- Your data is managed by an external company who specializes in secure data storage. Their business is dependent on providing safeguards against data outages and failed backups. This saves you money, time and hassle.
- Your data is highly accessible. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access your data anywhere at anytime, especially via the web application. This is obviously incredibly convenient.
- Being cloud hosted removes your obligation to provide and maintain a server PC that needs to run 24 hours a day. In the event that a client PC at your facility was to suffer a catastrophic failure, any PC or even a phone or tablet could replace it on the same day without missing a beat.
- You’re protecting yourself against data loss by natural disaster, local hardware failure and some malicious activity.
- On the other hand, you will require a decent internet connection. For businesses with slow or intermittent internet connections, your data will occasionally prove inaccessible.
- It is also important to note that even with a decent connection, if your data is on a server a significant distance from yourself then the responsiveness of the system can be affected.