Okay, we admit that this is a bit of a “gotcha” question. Every IT provider should know what the cloud is, but it is important to ask because a good IT consultant should be able to answer technical questions in simple terms using very little jargon. Here is how we would answer this question.
Imagine if opening a business or moving into a new home meant having to create an entire electrical generator from the ground up. You’d have to maintain it, manage it, handle any blackouts, and pay for any repairs. You’d also have to find the physical space for the generator and pay for all the costs up front.
Today, this is the way many businesses handle their computing needs. Everything is on-site, and they end up either having to learn how to manage the problems themselves, hiring consultants when things go wrong, or hiring an IT person onto their staff. They pay for all the hardware, software maintenance, backups and foot the bill for the cost of expansion as their business grows.
But of course, we don’t have to build an electrical generator from the ground up, and we don’t have to manage all of our computing needs in-house anymore, either. This is where the cloud comes in. Just as you can plug your appliances and electronics into the wall and only worry about paying for the electrical power you use, the cloud allows you to plug your computer into the network and only pay for the computing power you use.