Cloud computing icon with hand

What Is the Cloud?

Understanding cloud computing is crucially important to understanding the future of Microsoft, the future of computing in general – and even the future of the human race!

OK, that’s a little over the top, but it is really, really important. As app based IT becomes a central part of your business operation, cloud platforms are set to be increasingly vital to the efficient operation of businesses everywhere.

Where Is the Cloud?

The cloud is the network of external storage and servers to which you can connect via the internet. Essentially, the cloud is anywhere your computer isn’t. It is a metaphor for accessing data (like pictures or spreadsheets) or programs (like those accessible via Microsoft Azure) without them being stored or run from your computer.

What’s Better about the Cloud?

  • As mobile devices gain important functionality, the cloud lets you do important business on the move.
  • The cloud is key to incorporating tablet devices into your in-store customer care services.
  • Pliable online cloud platforms like Microsoft’s Cloud OS allow you to integrate your favourite business tools into one easy-to-use platform for maximum efficiency.
  • Cloud storage is a happier way to store data: you can’t lose it as easily since it is backed up, and this means it is much easier to share data with others in your team.
  • Cloud platforms are acting decisively to up their security reputation and remain a safe place to store sensitive business information.
  • Cloud computing isn’t a zero sum game: your business could install a hybrid cloud service with important data being held securely on site, but with more public, oft-accessed data being stored and shared via the cloud.

How Is the Move to Cloud Computing Affecting Microsoft Dynamics?

The cloud lets Microsoft and other big software producers sell their software as a subscription service. This means instead of just buying a product such as Adobe Creative Suite with a one-off payment, you now pay a monthly or yearly subscription for that program, receiving fee updates.

This has the added benefit that whenever Microsoft acquires a new business (such as Microsoft’s acquisition of FieldOne late last year), current Dynamics products can expect the functionality to become available to them in the near future – either as an update or an add-on.

Microsoft Cloud OS

Microsoft’s cloud platform is imaginatively called Microsoft Cloud Platform. It offers businesses a huge range of benefits:

  • Integrate different platforms into one unified entity.
  • You only pay for what you need, meaning if you need to bolt on a new analytical app, you can, and if you don’t need it, you won’t pay.
  • You can scale things like storage and functionality, meaning Microsoft Cloud Platform can grow as your business does.
  • It is integrated with iOS, Windows and Android, highlighting Microsoft’s anywhere, anytime, mobile-first philosophy.

The cloud is now key to both international business and Microsoft’s own business strategy. Keep an eye on Microsoft’s cloud strategy here at