With many "experts" unable to agree on what is cloud computing and what is not, trying to navigate the cloud environment and what is going to work best for your company. Many times "experts" get a bit ahead of themselves and start using phrases without explaining what they mean to you and your business. Without understanding what a private or a public cloud is, you can not decide if it will present a solution for your business.
A private cloud is any shared applications that occur inside your company's firewall. Normally your IT department will manage your private cloud and keep it up and running so every employee at your company can access it. Operations such as a company intranet, internal email, or applications such as applying internally for a job or updating insurance information for human resources are all considered to be part of a private cloud.
A public cloud is outside of your firewalls, and is most likely what is being referred to when articles and ads ask you to embrace the cloud or to use cloud computing to make your IT department more efficient. This can include using email services to keep in touch with customers through marketing or newsletters, using more storage space temporarily that does not exist on your current system, or to use an outside company to automate a few business functions.
Using the public cloud does come with some risks. Security is probably the largest risk for using the public cloud, but using common sense can drastically reduce your risk. Be sure to use passwords that are a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Change your password regularly; several times a year would be good and more often even better. Finally, be sure that your IT department keeps antiviral, anti spyware, and your firewall up to date and in good working condition. These will help keep your information on the public cloud more secure.
Most of the time, when people talk about using the cloud, they are not talking about dumping your current IT department and solely using cloud computing. Instead, most of the time what people are talking about is using cloud computing to become more efficient, which is a hybrid approach to the cloud. It combines the best of what you can accomplish in house with the best of what the internet can offer and creating a solution that makes your company leaner, more cost efficient, and more effective.
Source by Dave A Bennett