Large companies have typically been the first ones to benefit from advanced technologies and the power that the technologies offer. For example, providing network email services for 100 accounts typically costs just as much as providing the same services for 10 accounts. The trouble is that a company with 10 employees is least able to afford the cost. This has typically meant that many small businesses were obliged to forgo the advantages of Information Technology, simply as a result of the cost. Cloud computing offers the chance to not only cut IT (Information Technology) costs, but to also develop advanced IT services.
Software, email, Internet, and other application servers are costly to own and support. Companies looking to establish advanced web-based services generally lease or use credit to purchase the hardware and software needed. To use such technologies, controlling the cost with a monthly payment is advantageous to that business. Using a cloud computing model, is not just the time needed to carry out these technologies drastically reduced, but the cost is likewise reduced and typically according to a monthly fee for only the services used. Cost is, without question the most important factor driving the passage of cloud computing services.
This is possibly the least understood advantage of cloud computing. Setting up the server software needed to provide customers with access to account information, order processing, and other vital services is daunting by itself. To develop the application for use with the web-based services and insure that the services are s secure and reliable is still more difficult and often requires experienced programmers and many months to accomplish. The same project can be up and running in the space of a few weeks or even days with cloud computing. The cost of rolling the service out is also much lower than in the past. However, being able to set up a plan and have it online fast is vital in the current business climate.
Lastly, is the subject of cloud computing and its overall security, which has been the most doubted aspect of cloud computing. For many businesses, trusting important accounting, customer and other business data to "the Cloud" has been a big issue. The truth is that a cloud computing provider is far better able to guarantee the security of such information than most businesses would on their own computers and servers.
Continuing The Cloud Computing Discussion
The other major security issue is data back up, since for small businesses, this’s been a catch-as-catch-can situation, with tape drives being the most relied upon method. Too many small businesses and their owners have lost all of their information in a mishap, only to later see that the data backups aren’t usable for whatever reason, damaging a business in both trust and sales. Large data warehouses are far more secure than any small business can afford to be, so cloud computing is an obvious choice.
The first and most prevalent example is in various messaging services. In the past, small businesses had to choose between a secure and controlled internal email server with extremely high costs and a less secure Internet mail service with no control over the security services. Cloud computing allows small businesses to dispose of the best of both worlds. Email server software is costly to buy, install, and support. In the cloud computing environment, companies only be paid for the specific services that they need and only as much as they use. It is even possible to contract for a server and only be paid for the exact time and bandwidth that the server uses.
Productivity software is also a great opportunity in which small businesses can benefit from in using cloud computing. The software can include anything from accounting to word processing to document management. With cloud computing technologies in use, small companies can have seven day a week access to documents, customer information, 24 hour a day, and critical financial data without the expensive servers and bandwidth that limited them in the past. This can allow the business’ sales team to operate from the field without sacrificing access to such essential services. With the processing power needed to provide such services now “in the Cloud, " a company will only be paid for the processing power used and not all the server and all of the costs associated.
The biggest advantage in small businesses using cloud computing is its security. Initially, most small companies had concerns about the security and accessibility of their critical information while being housed on the Internet and its remote cloud computing servers. Large computing providers have a greater security and reliability than the small companies that they serve and results in an enhancement of the information services overall. Back up services in the cloud computing system are a perfect example, if a business’ “mission-critical" data is secured at an advanced server farm, then it is all the more secure only if the business transferred the information to a protected on a tape in your IT office.
The reason that cloud computing is so popular is that Enterprise level companies have adopted it in great numbers. While these companies can afford the cost of in-house computing systems, the company owners see the power and cost savings of cloud computing. This has resulted in a large number of new cloud-based services coming onto the market. The best way for a small business to use cloud computing is to begin looking at what it offers and planning for a transition as soon as possible, before the business’ competitor does.