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Why Should You Host Your Library System in the Cloud? Here are 12 Great Reasons
Many library system vendors like Softlink Information Centres offer the option of hosting their customers’ systems in “the cloud”. It takes the stress out of managing the technical “stuff”. Libraries and knowledge centers benefit greatly from this option. We have whittled the advantages down to twelve, grouped into three categories. They explain why most of our Liberty and illumin customers are in the cloud.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing, currently a hot industry buzzword, has actually been around for decades. Those who have used email or social media have most likely sent data into, or through, the cloud without knowing it.
At its simplest, cloud computing is the storage or processing of data outside of an individual’s or an organization’s homegrown computing capacity.
Cloud computing offers significant advantages. Strategic advantages include:
- Enhanced collaboration between staff internally, or with other institutions using the stored data.
- Data collection and storage are less expensive than expanding organizational capabilities.
- Less complicated disaster recovery because your data is managed and stored offsite.
- Libraries (like other businesses) save money in the long term without losing capabilities.
Cloud computing provides more flexibility, thereby enhancing efficiency. Efficiencies include:
- Enabling staff to work outside of the “office” using mobile devices anywhere with enough internet speed to support the system.
- Automatic software updates reducing the chance of security breaches – as we know, securing their users’ personal data is vital to librarians.
- Cloud-based solutions are at the forefront of data security. The information hosted in the cloud is more secure than many internally developed systems.
- A speedier service allowing for faster collaboration and more productive work. In many cases, it provides a much speedier service.
Hosting your system in the cloud provides you with more flexibility. This includes:
- Quality control services that help with standardizing data collection, storage, and analysis while reducing human error and redundancy.
- More efficient and effective scalability to library management and data use as your needs expand and demand on the system change.
- The choice of public, private, or hybrid storage formats. Advice on which would be best is always available.
- Options such as determining your own level of requirements – do you want automatic updates whenever a new version of your chosen LMS is released or in a month or quarter?
Cloud Computing Is the Future
Cloud computing is increasingly not merely something to consider, it will be a given. For example, in 2017, the United States federal government signaled the end of reliance on homegrown servers in government agencies. It now favors cloud computing. It joins a long list of organizations from private, public, and non-profit sector seeking the savings, efficiency, flexibility, and strategic value that comes from cloud-based library and data management.
The 12 advantages go some way to explaining why many of our Liberty and illumin customers choose hosted services. Click here to learn more about Softlink Information Centres’ hosted services or click here to contact us.
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