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What the Tech is… Cloud Computing?

Ever hear the latest tech buzzword and think, “What the heck does that mean?”

We’re here to help. As process management and automation experts, we do our fair share of juggling acronyms. These terms can be difficult to keep track of. That’s why we’re starting this series, where we’ll break down industry jargon into terms you can actually understand.

This week, we kick off our series with cloud computing.

#WhatTheTech is cloud computing?

As our Strategic Alliances Manager, Brad Orluk, explains, “Cloud computing simply means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of via your computer’s internal storage.”

And when it comes to the basics, Brad’s right. Cloud computing allows companies to use the Internet to their advantage by taking the operations of their business — like software, data storage, information technology (IT), and other components — online without relying on a physical, on-site server at the office.

How does cloud computing work?

Cloud computing systems use the Internet to store and distribute systems to users, or for a business, its employees.

While there are many examples of cloud-based service providers for business, we’ll use a popular music streaming app with nearly 250 million users to demonstrate how cloud computing works: Spotify.

Spotify streams music across the Internet to users listening on smart devices or computers via an app, rather than sending users physical CDs or vinyl records to play. The same process applies to cloud computing systems for business — employees using a cloud computing service access it via the Internet instead of downloading the software to use on their computers.

How do businesses use cloud computing?

The ways a business can use cloud computing are constantly evolving, especially as many companies work to digitally transform their operations.

And since every company has unique needs, defining what digital transformation looks like can vary. Consider the following common use cases for cloud computing.

  • File storage: You can store and back up files through cloud storage services that give your employees access anywhere they have an Internet connection. These services allow for easy file sharing and collaboration across your company. Examples include Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. Another inherent benefit to cloud storage is the ability to rely on the service as an easy-to-use backup or disaster recovery mechanism for company data.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS providers use the Internet to offer their software on a monthly, yearly, or user-based payment plan. Popular cloud-based software solutions include Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Similar to SaaS, PaaS offers a platform for developers to build, run, and maintain applications without having to start the process completely from scratch. PaaS ultimately saves your business time and money for these types of projects. For example, instead of having your own developer write extensive code for a new business app, you can instead use a cloud computing service like Google App Engine, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, or Windows Azure.

What does cloud computing have to do with Nintex?

At Nintex, we recognized the value of cloud computing early and the effect it can have on workflow automation — the management, automation, and optimization of your digital transformation as a business.

Now that so many of us are working remotely from home, ensuring your employees have access to necessary systems, files, and materials through the cloud is invaluable. You can also continue building sophisticated business solutions for your company through cloud-based platforms that provide optimal, user-friendly performance whether you’re at home or in the office.

Each system we’ve created that uses cloud computing technology is designed to put people first, while still maximizing productivity and efficiency. To learn more about how our cloud-first solutions can optimize your organization’s digital transformation, schedule a demo today.

Follow our blog for more technology 101 to come in our #WhatTheTech series.


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