What is cloud computing and what it means for your small business.
Posted by Joe Nax on Oct 18, 2014
Cloud Computing – what it means for your small business
This term has been “buzzing” around the IT community for a couple years now, but it’s still relatively new to the business world. The idea behind cloud computing may seem quite difficult but it is simple.
First, the cloud is not a physical thing, per se. It is a network of infrastructure and services that can be carved up in to virtual instances that can then serve different functions. This equates into services and infrastructure that are scalable to your needs. The different functions can be online services, such as Office 365, Google Drive, Salesforce.com, or a myriad of other applications. They can also be computing power, such as Amazon Web Services, to service your internal company’s needs or provide for online production systems to service your customers. These advancements in how infrastructure and services are provided is revolutionizing the way we do business.
Historically, only large companies had the means to support extensive technical infrastructures and possess the expertise to manage them. Now that cloud computing is mainstream, smaller businesses have the opportunity to utilize the same technology as corporate giants.
Technology is a huge driver of business’ competitive advantage. The flexibility of this cloud technology allows businesses to only pay for what they use, which makes it easy to scale up or down and save you money in the long run. Working on the cloud allows your company quick access to more resources when needed or conversely, reduce the space you purchased to what suits your company best. Think of it in terms of the elasticity of a rubber band. This model helps make business operations run more efficiently and ultimately is more cost effective. Furthermore, since this technology is on demand, it greatly improves speed to market, which can be a huge competitive advantage for any company.
Nonetheless, as a business owner it is important to remember that you must understand how to use the cloud and how it will benefit your company’s needs. Many small businesses typically don’t have an IT staff or technical expert in-house, so folks making purchasing decisions don’t always know what questions to ask when referring to their tech build out. Owners should care about what the cloud is doing for them in order to better enable them to focus their time on how to make their customers happy.
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