Where did the term cloud computing come from? Cloud computing was first introduced to society in 1996 in a business plan called created by COMPAQ Computer Corporation. However, cloud computing didn’t become a household name in the world of technology until ten years later when both Google and Amazon used the term to describe the growing popularity of using software and the internet to process information versus relying solely on one’s desktop. So, what does the term cloud computing mean for today’s society?
Cloud computing is defined as the use of a variety of services (e.g., software platforms, server, software and online storage tools) provided through the internet, which is known as the "cloud." When people use their Microsoft OneDrive accounts, they are using an online storage tool because the documents are stored in remote internet servers—in the cloud. When people save Facebook posts, these posts are placed in the cloud. As with all cloud storage programs, the information can be accessed wherever the customer has access to the internet.
When it comes to cloud computing, a client can use online software tools or mobile apps to interact with internet resources. There is no longer a need to keep a physical server or local storage source on site because as long as the client has access to the internet, the software needed to run a particular program (or the data needed to be retrieved) can be accessed easily. The user doesn’t have to be present on site to access the needed information because the information can be retrieved from the cloud anywhere the user has internet access.
It should be no surprise that many businesses are starting to use cloud access control systems for their businesses. Cloud access control, also known as hosted or managed access control, allows businesses to operate their access control systems without needing to have employees on site to run the program. Employees needed to manage the system work remotely because they are able to store and retrieve files on remote servers via the internet.
Benefits of Cloud Access Control vs Traditional Access Control
Cloud computing undoubtedly makes life simpler in the business world. What used to take a lot of equipment now relies on very fast internet connections, software, and often a subscription service. The ability of a company to utilize complex processing becomes easier and less expensive when using cloud access technology. Now, small businesses can reduce computational overhead because the remote servers do the work of handling complicated processes and complex computations.
Beneficial Reductions (Expenses, Equipment and Employee)
Another key advantage of using cloud access control systems is the reduction in company expenses due to a reduction in needed onsite equipment. As stated earlier, companies are able to do more complex processing due to delegating complex processing to the remote servers. The elimination of onsite equipment optimizes cash flow because it eliminates the expense of buying and upgrading local servers. The need for a special room on site for the server equipment is eliminated since the company uses a subscription service that gives the company access to a remote data location.
Also, it reduces the need for onsite workers since there is no need for personnel to run and maintain local servers. In short, the simplicity of the setup for the cloud access control system reduces the need for many of the traditional company resources needed in the company’s budget.
Another advantage of having cloud access control versus traditional access control is convenience. Doorcloud is a great example of a cloud access control software companies use that gives them many conveniences. Like all cloud access control software programs, Doorcloud’s remote capabilities removes any geographical restrictions on the functionality of the access control system. That means users can send and retrieve data instantly even while on vacation.
The management of the system does not have to be done by outsourced personnel since the bulk of the work and maintenance is done remotely. All you need to manage the system is a selection of authorized individuals to access the system remotely. Another convenience comes from no need for special software to access the system across various technological devices. As long as there’s access to the internet, users can manage the system.
Have Businesses Considered the Potential Drawbacks of Cloud Access Control?
While the popularity of cloud access control is growing, there has also been a growing concern that companies may face downtime when relying on remote servers. IT professionals studying cloud access control systems claim that security vulnerabilities for cloud access control systems are no greater than those experienced by more traditional access control systems. Fail-safe procedures allow users to have manual control of access until system functionality is restored. When the network is back online, data compiled during the outage will be accessible. Therefore, the assumption that cloud access control is less secure because of the potential for power and network outages is not valid.
Thanks to the awareness of viruses and hackers, some people assume access control systems are vulnerable to hackers, which means they are less secure than traditional access control systems. According to a whitepaper doing a comparative study of cloud access control systems and traditional access control systems, it is revealed that cloud systems offer a more reliable system than a collection of local computer servers because centralized data centers can be equipped with strong, redundant backup power and storage systems.
Cloud access control systems offer businesses a lot of capabilities at an affordable price. Small businesses really benefit from the promises of cloud access control systems because they allow small businesses to handle complex computations without having to struggle with generating exorbitant funds for material and human resources. President of Vanderbilt Industries Mitchell Kane sums up the advantage of cloud access control over tradition access control best when he says, cloud-based solutions give end users the ability to operate a system and get upgrades without having to worry about servers, IT connectivity and compatibility.