“Cloud computing” can assist any type of any business that uses the Internet to market or sell its product line. Common examples of the enormous impact cloud computing has on our lives is to look at cloud-based services like Google Docs, Gmail, Dropbox, and mobile banking services. Besides assisting large and medium-sized businesses, cloud computing services can be scaled down to benefit small businesses.
While many vendors use the term “cloud” as if it is a technology with a widely accepted definition, this is far from the case. Cloud Computing is an umbrella term that describes a broad spectrum of services. These services include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Backup as a Service (BaaS). In addition, if you get a chance to watch an OpenStack demo, you will quickly come to realize that the world of cloud computing goes beyond proprietary software platforms and includes open source software platforms.
Types of Cloud Computing Services
If you have a small business, you’ll find the following cloud computing services enormously helpful:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) will empower your company to subscribe to a high-end online application. You are no longer confined to getting an expensive licensed copy of boxed software. Online tools like payroll management systems, online invoicing, or online accounting software can help your business become far more productive and profitable.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) will help your business if it creates its own software. You can deploy PaaS as a platform to both design and deploy your unique apps.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way to purchase a share of infrastructure. Instead of paying the enormous costs of managing your own on-premise infrastructure, you can keep your costs down by buying firewalls, storage capacity, memory, or server space.
- Backup as a Service saves your business the cost and effort of maintaining your own on-site servers or external hard drives to back up all your critical business information. An online system will also increase security for your significant data because you’ll get multiple layers of protection.
7 Benefits of Cloud Computing
Here are 7 reasons why cloud computing could help your small business grow at a faster rate than ever before.
- Your business will be more flexible. You won’t be stuck paying for the same quantity of bandwidth regardless of market demand fluctuations. When your business is busy, you can scale up your bandwidth and when it is slow, you can scale down your bandwidth. In technical terms, you will enjoy the benefits of operational agility.
- Your business will enjoy more security. If your salespeople and people in the field lose their laptops at a business meeting with partners or vendors, your company’s sensitive information will not suddenly become available to prying eyes. Since your data is stored in the clouds, it’s not on the hard-drive of your machines. Additionally, cloud service providers take highly sophisticated precautions against cyber security threatsbecause they can afford the best security applications and IT specialists to protect their networks.
- Your business will be spared the high cost of building its own infrastructure. Since your business will be paying a subscription fee for cloud services, it will save on the cost of building and running its own on-premise resources.
- Your business won’t need to hire an IT team to maintain your own computer systems. There will be no need to worry about hardware upgrades or software updates. All you need to focus on is managing and growing your company.
- Your business teaj will be able to access the cloud from anywhere in the world with Internet access, and they will be able to access it with any device. This means that an employee can work from a hotel room across the world as easily as if they were working from the office. Team members can also share files with outsourcers, telecommuters, partners, vendors, and others who are not working in your office.
- Your business will be competing on a level playing field with larger competitors in your industry. In the past, the distinguishing factor between a small and large business was the technological gap. Larger businesses seized more of the market share because they could afford superior technology. Now with the cloud, you can access the same highly specialized software that the big players in your niche are using.
- Your business will be able to exert complete document control. Collaboration with traditional computer systems resulted in a large amount of redundancy. Workers had to access a file one at a time, send documents back and forth as email attachments, and so on. On the cloud, all the documents are stored in a central area and everyone can see the latest version. There are no longer multiple versions, different formats, and bewildering discrepancies in titles and content.
The Future of Cloud Computing
According to Forbes coverage of a Google NEXT conference, things are only going to get better for cloud users: “The next generation of cloud computing will focus on abstracting virtual infrastructure and the operational processes that go along with managing that infrastructure. Complex technologies like machine learning will be made simple, so data scientists can focus on the data, and developers can enable the data scientists without having to become experts at the underlying machine learning technologies.”