Is Cloud Computing a Worthwhile Investment For a Small Business?
Cloud computing represents a seismic departure from the norm. Most companies, large and small, still keep their hardware and software somewhere onsite in specialized facilities such as data centers. With cloud computing, a company’s digital assets are not owned but leased, and employees have no idea of the physical location of the databases, applications and even computers that they use on a daily basis. These, as far as they are concerned, are simply somewhere out there, ‘in the cloud.’
Greater Cost Effectiveness
The immediate saving in IT expenditure is probably the main reason why businesses, especially smaller ones that are typically strapped for cash, adopt cloud computing as the preferred option. If you have no application requirements and server storage in-house, the savings can be significant. The ongoing operational costs such as administration and air conditioning associated with these infrastructure requirements on the premises are also negated.
IT management becomes much simpler with cloud computing, as the infrastructure is managed by the vendor and there is a centralized administration of all the resources. Applications, software and services are accessed through a web-based interface by the user and maintained by the provider, and there is no need for their installation. Infor, headed by CEO Charles Phillips, is one such cloud computing provider. Infor Global Solutions has 70,000 customers in 164 countries and brings a wealth of IT solutions and experience to small and large organizations across the world. Mr. Phillips is past president of the Oracle Corporation, and Infor’s use of ground-breaking technology and flexible deployment options provides everything a business needs to move its computing to the cloud.
Using cloud computing for a small business is a better, more consistent and reliable option than in-house IT services, especially with a managed service platform. Most providers guarantee a round-the-clock service, so for example if a server happens to go down, the various services and hosted applications associated with it can quickly be transferred to other available servers. One of the big advantages of cloud computing is this availability of a vast pool of redundant resources, ever ready to be made use of in such cases.
A Better Strategic edge
This endless availability of IT resources also helps give a small business that crucial edge over its competitors, as the cost in terms of time for IT resource procurement is practically nil. This in turn means that there will be no provisioning time or upfront costs when mission-critical applications are deployed, for example. Cloud computing effectively allows the small or large business owner to forget all about technology matters and to concentrate instead on his or her key business objectives and activities.
With its lower IT costs and clear business advantages, cloud computing is fast becoming the IT solution of choice. Many large established businesses are either currently migrating to the cloud or seriously considering doing so and most small start-ups see its clear advantages from the start.