Cloud computing is the hot new buzz word in the business world. Learn more about how it can benefit your company.
The world is abuzz with chatter about “the cloud.” It has quickly replaced social media as the It thing every business needs to get a piece of. But what are the benefits for small business?
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing doesn’t see computing as a product. Rather, it views computing as a service. This means information, resources and software are distributed in a manner more akin to a public utility like electricity or water than anything you’re used to in the realm of computing. Typically, these information resources are distributed using the Internet. However, you can also set up a local cloud in the same manner as an intranet.
Why Use the Cloud?
The cloud presents a number of opportunities for streamlining your operations, saving money and achieving greater efficiency. Some benefits your business might experience from the cloud include:
- Financial Savings: Some business experience savings in the thousands of dollars. The cloud saves businesses money on a variety of fronts. Savings include computing cost savings on email, virus protection and webhosting. You can also save a pile of money on computer repairs and maintenance, as well as on your company’s power bill.
- Lost Data: If a power surge hits your company’s offices and you’re using an old-fashioned server, you might be kissing invaluable amounts of data goodbye. When you store this data on the cloud, it doesn’t matter what happens to your physical servers. The data will still be there.
- Ease of Use: Some professionals find the use of the cloud to be far easier than traditional computing. The common user often has to rely upon your IT department less with a cloud. This means you can make cuts and trim the fat in the realm of information technology.
- Access From Anywhere: When you use an intranet, you employees will have a harder time working from home. With the cloud, the intranet can be anywhere users have access. This means your employees can access all the data from the intranet at home, making life easier for telecommuters. For small businesses, this raises the opportunity of hiring more independent contractors than employees, pocketing a handsome amount of savings in payroll taxes and other expenses.
Cloud Computing Services For Small Business
You can use a number of cloud computing services to make life easier. These range from simple, free document-sharing services to highly complex cloud computing suites. Some popular cloud computing services include:
- Google Docs is a popular cloud computing application for private users. Business users, however, will want to shell out the $50 a month per user for the business-class Google Applications. This is a basic MS Office-style suite, but on the cloud.
- Skype offers direct communication and conference calls using cloud computing technology.
- QuickBooks Online offers the same services as regular QuickBooks, but on the cloud. This makes it far easier for your team to collaborate over disparate locations.
- Box is a pretty standard way to share files among many different users using cloud technology.
- Dropbox is another file-sharing and storage cloud technology.
The Cloud and Your Business
The cloud makes the promise of the Internet real. You can now have professionals collaborating with little trouble from other sides of the planet. Switching your small business over to the cloud will keep you at the forefront of IT development.