Cloud computing essentially means using applications and services that are hosted on the internet and that typically charge you a monthly or similar fee for usage only.
Cloud computing is the way many small businesses are moving in terms of their business computing.
There are literally thousands of cloud-based applications for small businesses. These can take the form of websites, services and applications.
Examples of cloud computing applications are cloud security, end point protection, cloud-based network management, business continuity, business accounting, payment gateways, website chat engines, ticketing systems and CRM systems. Really, there is some form of cloud computing application for just about any system you can think of.
These do need to be approached with a certain amount of circumspection, as a lot of these are startups and may fail. In addition, some may be fraudulent sites looking to obtain data and information. One needs to evaluate the cloud computing options out there and determine which are feasible to use.
Cloud computing has a number of advantages for small businesses. Here are five ways cloud computing is making small businesses better:
1. It saves you money
Cloud computing saves you money, specifically with regards to capital expenditure. With most cloud services there is no need to buy servers or complex hardware. Cloud computing is also easy to activate in terms of simply registering and paying a monthly fee as long as you use the service.
2. Fast, simple setup
Professional cloud services are trying as hard as possible to reduce complexity in their setup, configuration and ongoing functionality. With the knowledge of what you are trying to achieve and the ease of use, you should be able to set up your selected cloud services fairly fast.
3. Reduction of IT overheads and costs
If your entire business were to utilise cloud computing, your offices would simply have a router connecting to the internet and various devices as used by your staff. These devices would be, for example, desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. This would reduce your IT overheads and costs, as there is less IT support involved.
4. Cloud backup services can save your business when disaster strikes
Currently, the most popular cloud computing service for SME-type businesses is online or cloud backup services. Where businesses must have a server at their premises – for speed and connectivity issues, as well as for niche and specific applications – it is vital that they use this component of cloud computing. Cloud backup services can save your business when a disaster strikes, as your critical data is backed up on a daily basis and can be fully restored at any time.
5. Cloud computing will increase the productivity of your staff
This is because they will be able to work from any location; from home, customer premises or the coffee shop where they are meeting a customer. All your staff, no matter their location, can access and view the same information.
Cloud computing is an unstoppable train rushing down the tracks of the internet. It improves your business, makes your business more robust and able to deal with disasters, ensures business continuity and enables you to use cloud computing applications that are used by 1000s of companies and constantly being improved.
As part of our shift to a business continuity company, we currently offer cloud computing services in the area of online or cloud backup, cloud-based end point security and cloud-based systems and network management. We are actively planning additions to this product set and are currently designing and building a cloud computing business continuity service.