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How Cloud Computing Helps a Business Run More Efficiently

These days, one of those tools businesses now rely on to succeed is cloud computing

Running a successful business, regardless of the type of business, requires a handful of tenets that should always be embraced: enjoy what you do, hire the right people and provide the correct tools.

These days, one of those tools businesses now rely on to succeed is cloud computing. Many businesses are turning toward cloud computing, according to an article on Cloudtweaks.com. Here are a few reasons why.

Expanding Storage Potential
With an increase in business comes more data. That data has to be stored somewhere. Instead of regularly buying new hard drives and external hard drives, many businesses have turned to cloud services. Cloud services are constantly expanding, and some offer a large amount of space at a premium price.

You can set your computers to remotely back up data to the cloud at certain intervals. If the worst case scenario happens and your computers are down, you'll retain all of your data, since it'll be stored remotely. You don't have to worry about getting the computer repaired, either - since the data is remotely stored, you'll be able to access everything from any computer.

Cloud computing makes telecommuting a breeze. Since the files are accessed remotely, multiple employees can work on a project simultaneously. It also increases productivity, since the employees can work from anywhere, whether they have an idea while eating dinner or want to make a quick edit before bed. Employee retention will be extremely high since relocating has no impact on the employee's ability to do work.

How to Reduce Risk and Protect Data in the Cloud
There's a ton of data floating around the enterprise, and exactly who has access to what is a growing concern for IT managers and CEOs alike.

With employees, customers, business partners, suppliers and contractors increasingly accessing corporate applications and data with mobile devices from the cloud, protecting the edge of the network is no longer enough. As the traditional perimeter disappears, here are some safeguards to help ensure security in the cloud, according to an article on TheGuardian.com.

Know who's accessing what: People within your organization who are privileged users - such as database administrators and employees with access to highly valuable intellectual property - should receive a higher level of scrutiny, receive training on securely handling data, and stronger access control.

Limit data access based on user context: Change the level of access to data in the cloud depending on where the user is and what device they are using. For example, a doctor at the hospital during regular working hours may have full access to patient records. When she's using her mobile phone from the neighborhood coffee shop, she has to go through additional sign-on steps and has more limited access to the data.

Take a risk-based approach to securing assets used in the cloud: Identify databases with highly sensitive or valuable data and provide extra protection, encryption and monitoring around them.

Cloud and the Church: A Match Made in Heaven?
Many a dedicated churchgoer find ways to do good and avail themselves to the service of the Lord. Now it seems they're dedicating themselves to the servers of the Lord, and they're reaping what they sow.

Four out of five large churches - comprising 1,000 weekly attendees or more - are using cloud technology, with 55 percent of small churches currently in the cloud.

Churches that are using the cloud to support online giving were almost two times more likely to see an upturn in donations. A total of 72 percent of cloud-based large churches affirmed this, as opposed to just 41 percent of smaller churches.

Not surprisingly, the report also revealed a spike in engagement for churches in the cloud. Just over half (53 percent) of large cloudy churches stream their events, compared to just over 32 percent of those not utilizing cloud, according to an article on Cloudcomputingnews.net.

The biggest growth however is in smartphone apps for engagement. Just under half (49 percent) of large cloud churches utilize apps during their services, with less than a quarter of all other demographics being app friendly.

The survey also looked into the technologies churches were using on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, nearly every large church had a website, with four in five having a social media presence as well as utilizing recording software to stream and podcast their services.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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