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The cloud, once a buzzword, is used in everyday conversations.  It seems everyone is putting something into the cloud, and the industry would have you believe that on-premise systems are a thing of the past.  But what exactly is it, and how can an organization leverage its power?  We’re outlining the top ways to use the cloud below.

The cloud is a resource that is accessed through the Internet.  It is hardware-free from the user’s perspective, meaning you don’t have to buy or install any servers to store locally. Instead, you essentially rent space in the cloud through a third-party provider. The provider is responsible for hosting and storing the resource & data in a data center somewhere around the globe.

There are several ways to use the cloud in your organization, but these are five ways to leverage the cloud in your organization.

Active Directory Replication

Active Directory is a directory service running on a Microsoft Windows server that enables administrators to manage permissions and control access to network resources and includes features like Single Sign-On (SSO), security, permissions, and more.

Active Directory replication ensures that information and data are synced and up to date across domain controllers. When using the cloud for active directory replication, you have a copy of a very valuable portion of your network sitting outside your on-premise hardware should it fail.


Organizations using local servers to store and manage their data benefit from increased storage, high speeds, and an always-on connection. However, they also should realize that a power outage, loss of internet connection, or flood could quickly halt business operations.

For this reason, we recommend backing up critical data to the cloud. By setting up data to back up to the cloud at predetermined intervals, you’re adding a layer of redundancy to your data. This can help protect your organization from all sorts of disasters. 

Long Term Storage

It is not feasible to physically archive paper records indefinitely, and the practice of storing files on backup tape, though low cost, can lend itself to very long retrieval times and a high rate of failure of the physical media.  

The cloud is an excellent choice for long-term file storage.  Organizations can leverage the cloud’s scalability and redundancy.  Data is stored in remote data centers, and redundant data is made available on multiple servers in various locations. As a result, your data will always be available, and you can increase your storage size to make room for any new files. In addition, because cloud platforms can adapt to technology changes over time, you won’t be working with outdated storage years down the road.

Disaster Recovery

It’s a fair statement to say that data loss and unplanned downtime are an IT professional’s worst nightmare.  Cloud platforms are far less susceptible to floods, major storms, fires, or acts of God.  Backing up to the cloud is an excellent insurance policy that helps guarantee your data will always be available.

The data backed up to cloud servers can be restored to other cloud-based platforms to provide access to critical data and apps in case of disasters. 

Development and Testing

Suppose your organization needs to evaluate a new process or test out a feature. In that case, the cloud will allow you to do so without interrupting the daily operations or consuming your on-premise resources. In addition, the infinite scale available on cloud platforms gives companies of any size the ability to try out new technologies or test proposed changes to your production environment.   

The cloud is a powerful tool for data management, and when utilized correctly, can make a significant impact on an organization.