As a younger more tech savvy generation enter the workforce, they are expecting on demand cloud services that they can use at work in the same way they use Gmail, and dropbox. This is forcing more traditional companies to adopt cloud computing applications and services through companies such as Amazon web services. There are a huge variety of service providers for cloud computing services, and applications, and the rate that small & medium business are taking up these services, is growing consistently. Why should you consider using cloud computing if you don’t already?
Less infrastructure and maintenance
With cloud based software applications your IT team aren’t relied on to have to perform time costly upgrades or enhancements to the software. This becomes the responsibility of the service provider. Take for example Microsoft office online. Previously when you wanted to upgrade the staff software that was loaded on the desktop machine, you had to do it after work hours, or if you done it during the day, the staff members would have suffered significant downtime. This would have been coupled with troubleshooting the new version, and ironing out any system compatibility bugs. Now you don’t have any of these hassles, the upgrading and rollout of versions happens silently, and when the application is closed.
Flexibility to scale up or scale down
Using the cloud allows you to select the level of commitment that you have to your applications or services as and when you need. This gives you a massive amount of flexibility in terms or speed of deployment, and cost pricing. This model is known as pay as you go, and is popular among small and medium business that are not sure about their level of growth, or anticipate that there will be a large change in their order book. Cloud computing applications and products allow you to upgrade to larger or downgrade to smaller packages purply by subscribing to the relevant option.
Migration to the cloud is easy
Migrating your workforce to using cloud applications or upgrading your infrasture to instead work directly from the cloud takes no considerable amount of work. Usually when you want to upgrade the performance of your database server you will have to buy new server equipment, and then take your database down as you migrate it to the new server. This can cost you in precious time and money. If you are running your database’s from the cloud, you don’t have to worry about migrating to use better hardware, this happens automatically. Your service provider will perform all the costly upgrades, so your migration has to happen only once to the cloud.
Compared to your traditional IT systems, having your applications and data on the cloud is much more secure. First thing you don’t have to worry about usually is backups. Instead of costly backup procedures where you have to use tape drives or cd media, everything is backed up onto the cloud. The technology behind the software that runs the applications is also kept up to date, and any vulnerabilities patched as soon as possible. Something that happens again independently of your IT team. The data that your staff use is also kept better protected. There is no worry about losing important data on a USB stick, as the data is accessed directly from the cloud. Even if a laptop is left behind, there won’t be any immediate access to data, as everything you access on the cloud is password protected.
One of the best reasons for adopting cloud computing solutions is the increased productivity that you can expect from your users. They are able to use and collaborate on documents and data from any location at any time. As long as they have internet access its possible to log in and work from either home, or the office. This gives your users a huge degree of flexibility, and encourages better collaboration. With cloud applications such as google documents, you can share documents amongst users, and they can work in real time collaboratively on the same document.
Adapting to the future
Cloud computing offers small and medium business owners some really unique and essential approaches to the way of working. Not least because your competitors will be using them, so to keep up with the competition you will have to adapt your way of working. Cloud computing will only increase its presence in our lives.