What is the cloud?
The History of Cloud Computing
How cloud computing works
With a cloud app, you just open a browser, log in, and start working.
That means a field sales representative using cloud-based CRM can get all the information they need from their mobile device. Contact notes can be updated in real time so they are always fresh and complete and available to others – no more waiting to get back to the office to type it in. And sales managers know exactly which deals will close and when, from their desktop machines in their offices, or their tablets or phones when they are out and about.
And this all happens without any hardware to buy and manage, or software to install and update. That's because the hardware and software required is all the responsibility of the cloud company that runs the app. Companies like Salesforce have years of experience managing their cloud infrastructure and making sure that it's secure and reliable so that you don't have to.
You can run all kinds of apps in the cloud:
- Create and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets with Google Apps for Business.
- Video conference with your colleagues on Skype.
- Manage your Sales & Customer Service functions, alongside other key business processes on the Salesforce Platform.
You can even build your own social, mobile and real-time employee apps and run them in the cloud. The latest innovations in cloud computing are making business applications even more mobile and collaborative.
Social CRM in the cloud
If you're a social media user in general, you've probably come to expect relevant information pushed to you in real time. Business applications like Sales Cloud are heading in that direction as well.
If you need help solving a problem, have an accomplishment to shout about, or want to collaborate, a social CRM like Chatter is at hand. Ask a question on Salesforce's Chatter enterprise social network and others in the company can jump in with the information you're after.
Who uses the cloud?
The cloud has become so integral to our everyday lives that most people use it without even realising. In fact, for many people, life without the cloud would be radically different. There would be no Facebook, no Twitter, no Gmail, and no Spotify.
The cloud has transformed the business landscape, too. Today millions of organisations around the world rely on cloud services for everything from document creation and backup to social CRM and accounts. And just to start.
Here's what that looks like:
- Companies with over 25,000 employees use an average of 545 cloud apps or services.
- As of March 2016 there were on average 1.09 billion daily active users on Facebook worldwide.
- Over half of all Internet users rely on cloud-based email services like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail to send and receive their messages.
What's so great about the cloud?
No up-front costs
How safe is the cloud?
The issues of cloud security and privacy play an important role in the digital era, particularly since data is not filed in folders and physically archived in an office building. Every day, millions of new records are generated and stored digitally in the cloud.
Special attention should apply to the security standards offered by the cloud provider, including measures to secure transmission and storage of data, as well as the physical security of the cloud provider data center to control the access rights of your own employees.
Salesforce is aware that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our customers' data is critical to their business processes and our own success.
With our tiered approach to cloud security we protect the most important data, in which we monitor our application, systems and processes continuously and optimised so that they meet the increasing demands and safety requirements.
You should look for these qualities in any quality cloud service provider you’re considering.
Taking the first step
You’ll find that many of your existing business applications have a cloud capability – from office productivity to CRM and sales management tools – so you can move your apps into the cloud at a pace that suits your business.
With predictable costs, controlled risk and immediate gains in flexibility, the business case is strong. All you have to do is take the first step.