Is cloud computing right for your small/medium size business?
Cloud computing provides a great list of benefits to large companies and users all over the world, from providing scalability on demand services to empowering the mobility of the workforce. However, the path to adoption for small and medium size businesses (SMBs) is less clear. This is why I’ve outlined some key considerations for SMBs looking to migrate to a cloud computing infrastructure.
- Workforce mobility
Storing data in the cloud means that no matter where in the world an employee is located, if they have an internet connection then they can access their data. So as a SMB you can save money on fancy offices and infrastructure and invest more in developing your business and ideas.
Mobility is not without its security risks, so it is vital that businesses – regardless of their size – establish policies and systems that govern data access. If you store your data on the premises and something catastrophic happens to the physical infrastructure, you could lose everything, and a small business surely can’t afford that. Cloud backup and storage solutions offer many options for disaster recovery and should be considered.
- Business agility
Modern cloud architectures often provide much greater insight into business performance than some legacy solution stacks, helping businesses focus on core goals and objectives, and freeing up time for employees by giving them the information they need, when they need it. The business agility of cloud solutions also enables businesses to work in new geographical regions, taking advantage of different skills and experts that may not have been possible previously.
- Flexibility as a service
The flexibility of cloud solutions means that IT departments can quickly turn services that employees need on or off, thus minimizing up-front investment and reducing the time it takes for a business to embrace new solutions as they come to market.
Because cloud services are remote rather than being on the premises, there is a common misconception that data is somehow less secure. However, as I mentioned before, with sensible access rights and policies in place, data in the cloud is just as secure as that stored on site. Actually, manual error, more often than not, is the root cause of a security breach, and cloud enables businesses to minimize human error through automation.
Also, by working in the cloud, companies can benefit from receiving the latest security software updates, installed across the infrastructure in a efficient manner.
- Focus and develop your business
Cloud’s major benefit is that it enables businesses to concentrate on core tasks rather than worrying about IT issues. Basically, cloud enables SMBs to scale quickly, to embrace new solutions, to have secure access to data, and to smartly use that data.
There are challenges with cloud computing and there is understandable passivity as businesses want to stick with familiar operational patterns. The most important thing to remember is that there is help available for those who may feel that they are not confident enough to undertake such a project on their own. By working with a trusted and approved partner, it is possible to build a solid cloud computing infrastructure, based on the needs of the business.
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