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What is the Cloud?

Frequently Asked Questions About Cloud Computing


After a lengthy review process, the BBBEE Amendment Bill was signed into law by President Jacob Zuma in January 2014. Here’s what South African business owners – including franchisees and franchisors – need to know…

What is Cloud Computing?

In this model, IT services and software are accessed via web-based applications rather than by directly connecting with a server. This allows you to access such tools and services remotely – in other words, you don’t have to be in the office at your regular computer to access your word processing software and documents, for example, you can do so from anywhere in the world. ‘The Cloud’ has come to denote that somewhat ethereal ‘space’ in the web where such tools and applications are stored.

How Does the Cloud Differ from the Regular Ol’ System?

As mentioned above, software and documents are stored in the so-called Cloud, rather than on a physical desktop or laptop or server, and are accessed by connecting to the Net. In addition to remote access – handy for those who do their work on the hoof and are out of the office a good deal – cloud computing brings these advantages:

  • Cost-effective – cloud computing reduces IT costs because companies no longer have to host their own servers or lease them from a third party
  • Space-saving – the physical space once reserved for large servers and other equipment can be given over to other purposes (like more salesmen to generate more income!)
  • Easy-to-use – no more buying and installing pesky software updates since upgrades happen automatically via the Cloud
  • Flexibility – you’re able to upscale or downscale your IT requirements as and when needed
  • Safety and Reliability – information and applications residing in the Cloud are protected from ‘server crash’ issues, since they can be easily shifted to areas still in operation if one goes down.