You might not realize it, but whether you’re uploading a photo to Facebook or checking your Gmail, you’re already part of the “cloud.” But what does that really mean? For simplicity let’s break the “cloud” concept down into two parts: data storage and data access.

Data Storage: Rather than storing data (photos, documents, audio files, etc.) on your local computer or a local data server, data is stored across multiple data centers all across the world.

Data Access: With the “cloud”, you can access your data through the internet from anywhere, at anytime. This concept is often presented as “Software as a Service” (SaaS).

Let’s look at Facebook as a quick example. Instead of downloading a copy of Facebook onto your computer, you log in to Facebook’s software and access data (timelines, photos, etc.) over the internet. The information you care about is available to you anytime, anywhere, without you having to install software, worry about updates, or think about backups.

Many other companies, like Compology, use a similar SaaS approach, offering a web-based software as a gateway for easy customer access to data that is stored across secure data centers.

What are the Benefits of SaaS?

Why has this SaaS distribution model become the new normal? Because the “cloud” eliminates the need to install and run software or store data locally (on-premise), resulting in a number of additional benefits for both the customer (end-user) and the service provider.

In fact, a poll conducted in late 2016 shows the majority of IT leaders believe the cloud is the most secure, flexible and cost-effective solution.

Data Backup: With on-premise data storage, it’s up to you to make sure you have up-to-date, secure and functioning backups. Most cloud-hosted software, including Compology, runs from and stores data in multiple, secure data centers that are in dispersed locations. This provides additional safeguards against data loss, and guarantees access to data, in the off-chance a data center location is shutdown due to a natural disaster or if there’s an unexpected event, like a fire, flood or power outage. With on-premise, any of those events could destroy your data permanently.

Data Security: Security in cloud data centers is an extremely high priority. This includes both physical security and network security built to meet the requirements of the most security sensitive users. When using on-premise, organizations are required to constantly stay up-to-date with and invest in the latest best practices to keep data safe and secure.

Ongoing Maintenance & Updates: Instead of users having to constantly download new versions of software, cloud software providers, like Compology, can perform maintenance and provide updates without any need for service downtime. This helps businesses avoid spending more money on IT and maintenance support.

Scalability: Cloud software is typically offered to customers in a way that allows them to pay only for the services they use (for example, active users). This helps customers avoid large upfront expenses. Scaling to more users can also typically be done in a matter of seconds rather than in a matter of days. If a company is dispersed across various office locations, cloud also makes it easier for headquarters to access and get an overview of all location activity, while still allowing each office location to operate separately.

Accessibility: Users can access data at anytime using an internet-connected computer, tablet or phone. Need to download the data? No problem?—?most SaaS providers allow for easy data download on the spot. With on-premise, often times you have to have your computer connected to the hard drive or server storing the data.

Integration: Many SaaS providers build software that allows businesses to integrate it with other software. This helps businesses adopt new operational practices without having to completely reset their entire process.

So How Does this Apply to Waste?

Great question! While we can’t speak for everyone, Compology’s ultimate goal is to provide real value for our haulers and help move our industry forward by making our software as easy-to-use as possible. We take ownership and maintenance of our container sensors and constantly push updates to our web-based software, eliminating the need for our customers to worry about maintenance or additional IT costs. We also realize that access to data isn’t just valuable in the office?—?in our industry, service is provided out in the field, so it’s important to provide access to up-to-date container location, fullness and service data no matter where or when it’s needed. Our web-based software approach lets us provide that for our customers.

We also like to use cloud computing because it lets us provide all of our customers a level of service and computing power previously reserved for the Googles and Amazons of the world:

Cloud computing lets us take advantage of economies of scale so our customers, no matter large or small, benefit from data centers and networks built to support the most rigorous requirements.

Matt Duncan – Vice President of Software Engineering – Compology

The “cloud” may seem intimidating at first, but in reality, taking a walk in the clouds is a walk in the park.

Learn how compology can benefit you