What is "The Cloud" and Why Does It Matter to Your Hotel?

Whether you know it or not, you are most likely using the cloud on a daily basis. “The Cloud” refers to Internet services that allow you to store data, like emails, music, and documents in places outside your physical vicinity. Previous to cloud computing, we saved data to floppy discs, hard drives, and CDs. Now we store much of our data virtually in servers outside of our homes and offices. That storage is considered in the cloud. It can refer to various providers from Google’s Gmail or Drive, Pandora, Instagram, and Amazon, as examples. When people refer to the cloud, they are referring to all of those.

The Cloud Rocks! (Top 3 Advantages of the Cloud)

  1. STORAGE: When you don’t physically have to store data on your own device (i.e. mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or personal computer) it frees up your machine to better process incoming information.
  2. BACKUP: All of your files, photos, songs, etc. are also being backed up by those various services (Amazon, Google, Instagram, etc.). So, if your computer were to crash, your data is still easily obtainable.
  3. ACCESSIBILITY: You can access data stored in the cloud anywhere, from virtually any Internet-enabled device. If you leave your laptop at home, you can access your documents on any smartphone or tablet, or vice versa.

What’s the Catch? (Top 3 Disadvantages of the Cloud)

  1. COST: Storing your entire life in the cloud. While text documents require a relatively low amount of storage, photo, video, and music files can add up to gigabytes, and even terabytes, fairly quickly.
  2. ACCESSIBILITY (AGAIN): Yes, we covered this as an advantage but on the flipside, if you are somewhere without an Internet connection, you won’t be able to access your files stored in the cloud.
  3. SECURITY: The most talked about concern is security, and for good reason; all you need to access cloud services are your logins and passwords. Be sure to set strong passwords and pay attention to privacy settings.

    Overall 62% of IT leaders expect nearly all of their operations to be cloud-based.*

The Hospitality-Specific Cloud

Several hospitality businesses have deferred to cloud services to improve the guest experience. Not having to manage data security, storage, and bandwidth allows managers to focus on the guests’ physical needs, face-to-face interactions, and ultimately conduct business more efficiently.

In what ways are you using the cloud for your business?

More on cloud computing for your business:

*Based on data from Forrester.com.