Cloud computing has evolved into a viable alternative for many small-to-medium-sized businesses. By leveraging virtualization technology with Desktop Virtualization, and economies of scale, Cloud Computing is a way to access enterprise-grade IT that would otherwise be too costly to purchase and maintain.
As companies fight for market share within their industry, and as they search for opportunities that give them a competitive advantage, Cloud Computing is quickly becoming the technology choice for small-to-medium sized businesses. It has become clear to business owners and managers that Cloud Computing gives them more affordable choices, greater functionality, larger capacity for growth, higher performance levels and much more mobility for their workforce.
The following is a list of some of the benefits of Cloud Computing.
Cost Savings – With Cloud Computing there are no upfront investments for hardware or software. Because the Cloud platform is utility based, you only pay for what you use. Cloud Computing can save you time and money as well as give you a competitive advantage.
Data Access – Anytime, Anywhere and with Any Device – Cloud computing allows the users of a network to access their data and applications from any device, anytime and basically anywhere. Because data is accessed over the internet on your Cloud provider’s servers, management and employees have 24/7 access wherever and whenever they need it.
Scalability and Simplicity – Some business are seasonal (i.e. Hospitality) and go through periods of extreme activity, but then this activity slows considerably when the busy season is over. Cloud-based services are scalable and can expand and contract as a business needs the resources. In busy times when a business needs to hire more employees instead of purchasing extra technology and hardware to handle the influx of new people, they can just scale their cloud services up and then scale down after the busy season.
Removing the need to buy and configure new hardware and software allows your employees, and your IT department, to concentrate on the tasks that will directly increase your profits and grow your company.
Security – Because Cloud Providers offer their services to a large number of businesses and companies, it is easier and more economical for them to make sure that their system is 100% secure from hackers, accidents, and bugs. They can easily afford all types of defensive measures like filtering, patch management, and cryptography techniques.
Leveling the playing field – Cloud computing levels the playing field between large and small companies with a “pay-for-what-you-use” model. Small-to-medium sized companies no longer need to shell out big bucks in order to buy IT infrastructure that is comparable to large companies. Now they can just rent what they need in the cloud.
Management control – Cloud-based applications enable managers to better monitor and manage what’s going on in their company and with their employees. Because managers can access information that their employees are working on, they can manage and evaluate the work much quicker and more efficiently. Also, Cloud based applications make it much easier to extract the right information at the right time.
Greater Functionality, Efficiency and Innovation – With Cloud Computing you can make regular and incremental upgrades and improvement to your technology whenever it becomes available. Even smaller companies get access to technologies that were previously only available to Fortune 500 companies and at a reduced price. Cloud applications are typically much more user friendly, greatly reducing employee training time and improving a company’s bottom-line. As well, The Cloud allows much greater collaboration between employees allowing multiple users to share and work on data and document at the same time.
Disaster Recovery and Backup – With your company’s data safely stored on secure data centers instead of your server room, if you lose power due to a hurricanes or a construction worker cutting the power lines, you can easily be back at work as long as you have an internet connection.
Flexibility – Cloud Computing allows your business to select only what your company needs, when you need it and use it how you want to. You can select a CRM tool, purchase an email marketing tool, a financial services tool or a host of other options for you company. You basically pay for what you use when you need it!
Analytics – Cloud-based analytics allows you to track the manufacturing process, follow sales numbers in a particular geographic region, or learn quickly how a marketing campaign performed in a particular city, state or country. Just extract data from your various applications and you can be viewing reports that are easy for you and your employees to understand.