Some business owners wonder why they need to consider cloud computing and the benefits it has to offer. It’s true that there seems to be a new cloud company on the horizon every few months. Does the cloud really offer advantages over traditional methods of data storage? What solutions to everyday problems can a cloud service provide to your business? The single most important significant benefit of connecting to the cloud is the access small businesses gain to enterprise-level applications. The cloud provides a competitive foothold for growing businesses. Transitioning to cloud services may sound complicated, but once you determine which service offers the best technology solutions for your business, switching over is easy.
Cloud Services Small Businesses Should Understand:
Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)
The outsourcing of hardware is the primary purpose of IaaS. The cloud service provider owns the equipment normally housed in the physical business. The provider takes over the responsibility of housing of the hardware, the servers, and all of the networking components. This relieves the small business owner of a major expense. The business owner pays each time they use the service, and the provider maintains the equipment and keeps it updated whenever necessary. The money the business would have spent on infrastructure equipment and maintenance is now free to be used in other aspects of the business that must be performed in-house.
Software As A Service (SaaS)
Probably the most efficient form of cloud services for a small business is SaaS. The availability of otherwise cost-prohibitive software is a tremendous advantage for business. Licensing fees are costly and are the primary reason many business use outdated software or less efficient software, instead of what they need. Businesses who can afford the fees have a strong competitive edge and access to the latest technology. Cloud services drastically change the playing field for small business and provide all the advantages large companies enjoy. Because they are part of a shared environment, the overall cost for each business is lowered measurably.
- Scalability: Equally beneficial to small business is the scalability factor. Scalability, as provided by SaaS, is a financial boon to a growing business. As business needs grow or change, the SaaS account adapts accordingly. The company pays only for the services utilized, and has the flexibility of expansion or reduction of services as needed.
- Upgrades: Traditional software upgrades require a cash outlay to purchase an upgrade package, and in some instances the business must also pay for a specialized service tech to install the upgrade. With a SaaS account, upgrades are managed by the provider and are immediately available to all subscribers.
- Learning Curve: SaaS providers supply all the learning tools necessary for the employees to quickly adapt to the software in use. Cloud software is oriented to the consumer and designed for a comfortable and fast learning curve. With all software, retention quality is determined by the amount of time spent using the program. Employees using the software daily will learn and retain more quickly than those employees involved with only occasional use.
Cloud computing is leading the way for small businesses to enter the larger world market with their products and services. The playing field is leveled, and small businesses can jump into major markets and compete with the same software advantages available to large enterprise operations. If your business is ready to take its next big growth step, cloud computing can help you build an “outsourced infrastructure” to rival those of major companies. Cloud computing provides solutions. Solutions provide success.
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