The Cloud – What Is It and How Does It Work?

The technology community often uses words and phrases that may be confusing to the everyday user. 5G, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, the cloud – these are all phrases that while make sense to some, may not make sense to all. In this article, let discuss “the cloud” – what it is and how it can benefit your dental practice.

What is the Cloud?

We all know that the cloud allows you to run programs and applications through the internet – saving you time, worry, and money. But what exactly is the CLOUD and how does it work?

Simply put – the Cloud is a network of professionally managed hardware servers that store (host) your data. These servers are configured so that your data is safely and securely accessed by only you, at your convenience, through the internet.

For most, the actual physical location of the data centers – where the servers and data are stored – is irrelevant. However; healthcare professionals might require their data to be stored in their jurisdiction due to data protection and privacy laws, and that is easily resolved as nowadays, cloud data centers are available in many regions.

Cloud technology

How safe is the Cloud?

Cloud service providers follow and exceed all applicable data-protection and privacy laws.

Using authentication processes with usernames and passwords, secures and limits access to your data – yet makes it easily accessible for you. With advanced encryption methods, and having methods to protect against the loss or theft of data – such as backups done regularly throughout the day – cloud service providers are providing a safe and secure solution for your dental practice.

How much does the Cloud cost?

Cloud data centers are owned and professionally managed by cloud service providers – who are responsible for keeping the hardware servers up and running by employing various safety and security protocols such as: extensive cooling, backup generators, and high-level security for staff. Sound expensive – right? Luckily, these costs are shared amongst all cloud customers, so cloud is becoming a more affordable and sought out computing solution by both individuals and businesses – whether big or small.

Having your data safely and securely hosted on the cloud, such as on Microsoft Managed Servers with ADSTRA Cloud, eliminates the need for a dedicated server (and on-going server maintenance) in your dental practice. This is a financially efficient way to save thousands of dollars; money that can be better invested towards increasing profits for your dental practice.

In addition, because the software provider (such as, ADSTRA) and Cloud Service Provider (Microsoft Azure – whom ADSTRA works with) are managing the storage and computing of your data, the infrastructure, backups, and all platforms that run the applications – you don’t necessarily need costly computers to provide top-of-the-line dental care.

Cloud computing is offered on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, using “pay-as-you-go” models with monthly subscriptions with minimal up-front expenses allowing you to invest more into your practice in other direct-revenue increasing ways – providing peace of mind.