How would you like to run your company from any location? Cloud computing makes this possible. In fact, cloud technology can completely change the way you do business. It eliminates the need for upfront IT investments and provides a secure, readily accessible business environment. The fast deployment of services gives you a competitive edge and helps you achieve better results at lower costs.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is an internet-based concept. It refers to migrating your data and apps from your PC to a virtual location (the cloud). It’s an umbrella term describing the delivery of hosted services over the internet.
You get those services on-demand and you only pay for what you use. This is unlike with traditional software where you buy a fixed license. You still spend the same money regardless of how often you even use that app.
The cloud concept allows you to access and manage your files and apps from any device or location with internet access. When you use a cloud-based service, it stores your data on multiple servers and locations.
There are 3 main types of cloud environment: private, public and hybrid
A private cloud solution serves the needs of a single client. And the resources are exclusive to that client. You can manage your private cloud internally or outsource it to external management.
When we talk about a public cloud, we’re referring to a network that is open for public use. It provides services to multiple clients via shared infrastructure and there is no exclusivity of resources. It usually involves a mix of users that are using it free-of-charge, and “premium clients” that pay for extra features or space.
The hybrid solution combines the advantages of both cloud types. When you get someone to create a hybrid for you, it gives you more options. You can customize the features according to your needs. A hybrid solution can even share the resources between a public and a private cloud.
There are 3 main models in which a service provider can offer cloud solutions. Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
- SaaS are applications clients can use right away.
- PaaS are sets of tools used in the development and customization of these applications.
- IaaS are used to manage and monitor remote data centers. They include the hardware and software needed for this task, such as servers, networks, and operating systems.
Why do companies need cloud solutions?
Business is increasingly done outside of the office. People no longer have to go to actual workstations. Some prefer working from home, others want to access their files and projects while on the road. Many companies need more advanced tech solutions but lack funds to invest in costly computer systems or in-house IT experts.
In organizations that store their data locally, employees can only access their apps and files from the office. They have to be in that specific physical location. On the other hand, companies with remote teams and freelancers working from different locations need more flexible solutions. They need software solutions that support real-time collaboration from remote locations.
Also, with local computer systems, there are more costs involved. They must be regularly maintained and updated, which requires time and resources. A business wants to keep costs minimal, so in many situations, cloud-based options become a must.
Compared to traditional software, cloud-based solutions are more easily accessible, adjustable, safer and more cost-effective. And since they store everything in a virtual environment, there are no operational costs and space requirements.
Cloud computing comprises a range of services. These include data-sharing, web-based email, app hosting, cloud phone systems and data storage. Actually, we all use some type of cloud service for personal or business purposes. Facebook, Hotmail, Google docs, Youtube, Picasa, and Flickr are all examples of cloud services.
How does cloud computing benefit small businesses?
Small businesses with budget limitations get the most out of cloud-based services. It’s much easier for large enterprises to build their own data centers or keep IT support teams on staff. Smaller companies must carefully weigh the pros and cons of any decision involving capital expenditures. Let’s look into the main benefits of migrating your business to the cloud.
Improved disaster recovery
Outages are a stressful event for a business of any size. For small companies, they can be downright catastrophic. Small businesses find it harder to bounce back after downtime or loss of crucial data. As a rule, companies with cloud-supported continuity plans can recover from disruptive events faster and at much lower costs. You can retrieve data easily and the downtime is minimal.
Cloud solutions are extremely beneficial in the event of physical damage, fires, and floods. In such cases, even the best onsite backup becomes useless. The only way your data will survive is if stored remotely, in the cloud.
One of the main benefits of cloud services is the minimization of capital expenses. The absence of long-term financial commitments helps small companies commence operations in a faster and safer way.
On the issue of cost, unlike large enterprises, small companies lack the funds to keep IT teams on staff. Also, they can rarely provide an environment that is stimulating enough for great IT professionals, at least in the long haul. Outsourcing IT support and maintenance is often the most cost-effective and productive solution.
Cloud providers understand only too well the need for advanced security measures. Their reputation is at stake and a single security breach can put them out of business. This is why they pay special attention to regular upgrades of their security systems.
As a result, cloud services come with high-level security and data encryption protocols. Files can be safely accessed and shared across the organization, without danger of malicious attacks.
Luckily, as a client, you don’t need to concern yourself with security aspects, such as identity and access management. The provider takes care of everything.
Convenience of access
Cloud solutions greatly enhance business mobility. They store all those corporate files in a remote destination. And syncing is instantaneous across all devices. In a word, you can turn your laptop, tablet or smartphone into a mobile office.
The ease of access comes hand in hand with better employee collaboration. Your teams can manage files from multiple locations and keep up to date with customer issues. Many cloud solutions offer virtual collaboration rooms where employees can interact across the organization. For security purposes, managers can choose to restrict access to certain documents.
Why not outsource all your other IT hassles as well?
Cloud services can be a life-saving option for small businesses. They lower your internal costs on expensive computer systems or local installations of expensive software. However, there is still a lot that can go wrong when choosing or implementing a cloud-based service.
If you outsource your IT to a good external IT support provider, you get many benefits. If you work with our team, we can also help you get the most out of cloud computing. This includes helping you choose the right cloud-based solutions or even helping you set up a custom solution.
The IT experts at InspiredTechs are at your disposal. We can help you with all of your tech-related needs. You can rely on us to keep your IT at peak efficiency so you can focus on achieving your business goals.