We get many questions, both from new customers and existing, about the cloud and the benefits or otherwise. We thought we’d take a look at some of the most common questions we get asked about Cloud and answer them here.
What is Cloud?
From people who don’t have a technical background, this is our number one question! Cloud seems to be a bit of a buzzword that everyone’s using at the moment – “it’s saved in the cloud” “it runs from the cloud” – what do these terms mean?
Put simply, the Cloud is just a server (or computer storage with processing power) that is connected to the internet. This means rather than having servers in server rooms or your datacentres, businesses can rent secure space from a cloud provider, and just access it through the internet. It brings together the application and the infrastructure that the application needs to run.
This means less investment in heavy infrastructure and freeing up your IT resources to focus on what your business needs are.
Is the cloud just a fad?
While it might seem like a bit of a trend, the original concepts of cloud computing have been around since the 1960s. In the last 10 years, it’s taken off, becoming a popular way for companies and individuals to minimise IT infrastructure costs and maintenance requirements while allowing scale and resilience.
Globally, the cloud computing service industry is worth around US $227 billion and is expected to grow by 17% in 2021.
There are a few massive providers of cloud computing, like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. These are amongst the world’s best technology companies and by putting together literally millions of servers in secure data centres throughout the world and ‘renting’ the storage and bandwidth to software providers like Humanforce, they can achieve incredible economies of scale, and standards of security, scalability and uptime. No single company maintaining its servers and its network could hope to match the cost-effectivenessand robustness of this approach.
Is it safe & reliable?
Relative to if it was stored on-premise, cloud is much safer and significantly more reliable.
Cloud technology protects data from things like fires, system or power outages and faulty hardware incredibly well – as there’s no reliance on your physical hardware.
The cloud uses many tools to ensure that data is encrypted and secure while using other tools that monitor patterns in behaviour to ensure that no fraudulent activity is taking place.
Potential security vulnerabilities are all managed and resolved centrally by the cloud service provider. Businesses just don’t come close to having anything as reliable or secure as what the large players provide.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It’s when an application, like Humanforce, sits on the cloud rather than being installed by an individual or organisation ‘On-Premise’ (on their servers).
For the most part, these kinds of applications are accessed through a web browser where a user can simply sign in and use the application regardless of the device.
When you subscribe to a SaaS product like Humanforce, you pay a simple per-user cost. You do NOT need to pay the cloud provider. Humanforce engages the cloud provider (in our case, Amazon Web Services, the leader in the field) and ensures that however many users, or however much data, you need, it’s always available. The hardware and software running the product you use are always the latest and greatest.
What is the benefit of Cloud/SaaS for companies?
Generally speaking, Cloud and SaaS products mean that companies don’t have to invest in as much IT infrastructure, hardware or resources. There is little to no maintenance required in-house, which makes keeping software programs up to date very easy. This means lower costs for your company and allows IT team resources to be used more efficiently.
Security is another key benefit of using cloud – cloud providers invest very heavily in security, often with teams of engineers who focus solely on maintaining security tools that monitor data movements in a similar way banks monitor transactional information to identify fraudulent activity.
For businesses that are growing, cloud-based technologies are very easy to scale up. Rather than making costly investments in IT hardware, organisations can pay for what they need now – and then add users, storage or functionality as they need it.
Using software that’s based in the cloud means also that updates are super simple – there’s no need for installs that might have downtime, so you can always have access to the latest tools and features.
Probably the last key benefit is that if you’re using cloud-based solutions or a SaaS solution, you’re dealing with one provider who takes care of everything specific to that solution. This means you don’t need your IT team to run updates or hardware providers to come and fix things when things age or break. Using the cloud means you don’t need to stay on top of privacy legislation changes for compliance or be maintaining security yourself – everything is taken care of by a single provider.
How does Humanforce work on the cloud?
Much the same as TimeTarget, except that TimeTarget would be installed on your servers.
Humanforce is a SaaS application, so it sits in the cloud instead, so we take care of all the maintenance and upgrades for you.
Humanforce has more advanced tools and better functionality to hyper-advance your workforce management. Because it’s based in the cloud, it means that your staff can access the application from home or on any worksite, from their mobile phone or tablet, at any time through a web browser or our mobile app.
Humanforce customers have access to all the latest functionality and tools, allowing them to rapidly transform their workforce management on an ongoing basis.
If you’d like more information about Humanforce, or are looking to get more out of TimeTarget – click here to speak to a Humanforce Expert.