Why Cloud Computing Is a Good Option for Small Businesses
Published: April 5, 2012
Author: Molly Shotwell
Opening a small business today offers its share of tests and challenges. With the advent of modern technology, business opportunities are no longer confined to a single area or sector of society. Entrepreneurs with the vision to establish small businesses today have the opportunity to compete on both a national and international level.
In order to succeed in these markets, however, your business must establish the networking capabilities to facilitate these options. This is where cloud computing can provide the valuable resources a small business needs to elevate it to the next level.
The Cost-Effectiveness of Cloud Computing
Small businesses can benefit from cloud services in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, cloud services are cost-effective, which can be a tremendous boon to a business that is just getting off the ground. Initial investment costs of small businesses have the potential to be quite high. Finding ways to reduce this cost, without compromising services, can help a business become firmly established and advance more quickly on the market. Cloud computing offers an alternative to companies purchasing their own equipment and software in order to set up their own Internet infrastructure for the essential online operations they need. (Companies, regardless of size, may not need a cloud service if their server needs are steady and predictable from day to day without the fear that there will be a sudden spike in usage. But most start-ups are hoping to start small and hit it big.)
With cloud computing, businesses can utilize an already established network provider for data storage of their company’s information technology. This infrastructure offers small businesses the opportunity to use the same high-quality equipment and services as their larger counterparts. It gives them an advantage in being able to function better in a highly competitive market. Having upper-end Internet services, software, and data storage facilities is extremely important when it comes to establishing a business. Cloud providers offer a centralized data storage program online that is efficient and accessible by all company employees anytime, anywhere. This feature can strengthen a small company’s structure by allowing employees to collaborate together from any location without complications or delays.
Lower energy costs and a greener environment are yet two more benefits of utilizing cloud computing in a small-business set-up. The system is specifically designed for clients to share in the cost of running the server, with each company paying only what they use. In this manner, the use of cloud services is much more energy-efficient than if each company were to run their own set-up. The use of less energy also helps to reduce carbon emissions, which results in a cleaner environment.
The biggest deterrent for a larger corporation to utilize the cloud would be security fears. This weekend there was a massive security breach for VISA and MasterCard. Corporations thinking about trusting a remote source for storage may feel apprehensive about the use of the cloud with high-priority information.
The Efficiency of Cloud Computing
Amazon Web Services is one of many cloud providers offering professional services in this area to enterprise clients. Those looking for an Amazon alternative will find a stable of small to mid-size cloud providers (e.g. Bluelock, Egnyte, Nirix, and Scalr) that have been instrumental in helping numerous businesses to develop and grow. Businesses that operate on the cloud have no need to hire IT personnel to troubleshoot system failures or retrieve loss of data, as the cloud provider covers these services. This enables businesses to streamline the personnel they hire, ensuring their employees’ talents and skills are utilized where they are needed most.
Cloud technology can provide many opportunities for a company’s future. Small businesses in particular can reap huge benefits from what cloud has to offer — especially those businesses that wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without an alternative to the high costs of in-house systems.
– Joseph Baker