The origin of Cloud systems came from the fact that around the world, server farms were only being used during core working hours, say 9 to 5, and sat idle the rest of the time. Add to this the fact that they were designed for peak usage, it meant you were left with a whole load of capacity wasted for large parts of the day. So some bright spark came up with the idea of making that capacity available for other prospective users or applications. Dadaaaaaa, you have Cloud. But what truly defines cloud systems (and this is important to know!):
- True Online: they are accessed through any internet connected device. So instead of double-clicking an icon on your desktop, you login to a website or use an “app”.
- Multi-tenanted: this means that the Cloud solution you choose can support 1 or all sites in a single system i.e. from a single login, you can view all sites, permissions allowing.
- Truly Secure: whatever you access, it must adhere to the most stringent of security standards and sit on an ISO27001 infrastructure. Did I say MUST?
- Pay for why you Use: this is a central tenet of Cloud systems, you pay for what you use, no more, no less.
- Scalable: anyone can put a system online with a PC and an internet connection, how ere, is the infrastructure proven to be “elastic”. In other words, if your company requirement grows ten-fold, can the system grow with you?
- Robust: an finally, with the system standup in all weathers and is your data safe? This requires sophisticated backups, recovery testing, backend security and so on.
And to sum up what it is not: Cloud systems are not applications simply hosted at a company and made available on the internet. They demand the same high-standards of infrastructure investment, oversight and security as you would afford any system helping to operate your business and hold sensitive data.
To learn more about cloud hosting in Construction, download our white paper, "Five Questions to Ask Your Cloud Hosting Provider". You can also learn how our site access and workforce management solution, MSite, secures your data in the cloud.