Modern business leaders, whether heading up small or large organizations, need to have a fair amount of technical knowledge or at least know how to hire the right people with that knowledge. Building a secure, stable IT architecture is a top priority. Downtime can destroy a business.

Foundationally, having an understanding of operating systems is crucial. There are specialized operating systems like IGEL OS, which is for cloud workspaces, but before you get to that point, you should know the basics.

What is an Operating System?

An operating system referred to as an OS is software installed on the hard drive of a computer to facilitate communication between hardware and software.

Examples of operating systems include:

  • Microsoft Windows: This is the most commonly used operating system, and it’s compatible with IBM and PC computers
  • Apple macOS: This operating system is used, as you might guess, with Apple devices
  • Linux: This is a free, open-source OS. It’s used with PC and IBM devices and since it’s open-source, there are a lot of versions of Linux available
  • Chrome OS: This is the operating system for Google Chromebooks

There are also mobile operating systems, including Android and Apple iOS.

Essentially, an operating system keeps everything together. Tasks are passed through the operating system. It provides a common language so all hardware and software resources can communicate with one another.

All background processes running on a device are controlled by the OS.

What are the differences?

Windows can get expensive when you add up licensing fees and products, especially at the enterprise level. For that reason, Windows tends to work better for smaller businesses.

A main downside of Windows is that there are security risks. Windows is the most likely OS to be attacked because hackers are familiar with it and know how to find the holes. You really have to stay on top of all available security updates with Windows.

Linux is free, so financially, it can come out on top. Linux is hard to use, however, and there aren’t a lot of programs written for it. Linux does tend to be very malware and virus-resistant, and it’s difficult to manipulate.

The Mac operating system can seem expensive because the Mac devices are so much pricier than other brands, but on the flip side of that, it’s considered very secure. It’s difficult for hackers to infiltrate this OS, so you’ll have fewer overall issues to deal with if you go with the Mac operating system.

What is a Cloud Operating System?

A Cloud OS is a lightweight system that can access web-based applications remotely, and it stores data. Cloud operating systems are primarily intended to manage the operations and process of virtual infrastructure and virtual servers and machines.

Some of the benefits of a cloud operating system include:

  • It’s easy to make upgrades. When there’s a new version of the OS available, you’re immediately given the option to install it. You could potentially have an update to a cloud-based OS ready in minutes, and all the existing applications will remain the same
  • There’s more security with a cloud OS. They don’t interact directly with the hardware, which is one way the risk of viruses is significantly reduced
  • Often a cloud-based OS is cheaper than its counterparts
  • Because they are so simple, cloud operating systems are very fast. The speed doesn’t get diminished, so it’s ideal if you’re running multiple programs at one time
  • Again, the simplicity leads to the benefits of a cloud OS. They are user-friendly and have intuitive interfaces

A lot of forward-thinking businesses are putting an emphasis on cloud-based IT services.

Businesses are migrating to the cloud in general because it offers accessibility, which is important in the current work-from-home landscape. The security issues that businesses face are another reason for the rapid move toward cloud-based IT options.

Cloud-based services tend to be highly scalable and flexible, helping you build a strong foundation for your business, and they’re easy to implement and are up and running quickly.

If you’re thinking about a cloud OS, look for specific features, including easy customization and built-in security features. With an enterprise-level cloud OS, look for two-factor authentication and trusted execution at a minimum.

A business operating system is what’s going to facilitate security and ease-of-use, along with efficiency. It’s worth delving into a little more from a business standpoint.