What is “the Cloud”? Simply put, the Cloud hosts computer data and programs through the Internet on third-party servers housed in massive data centers around the world. You may have already noticed the increasing trend of businesses moving to the Cloud. In fact, you most likely use the Cloud already, through services such as web-based email and Google Apps.
Depending on your business needs, you may have a few cloud solution options to choose from. The options include public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
With public cloud, all hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure are shared with other cloud “tenants” while owned and managed by the cloud provider. Alternatively, private cloud services and infrastructure are always maintained on a private network (either on-site or hosted by the third-party), and the hardware and software are dedicated solely to your organization. Finally, hybrid cloud combines both private and public cloud features which for some can provide greater flexibility and offering “the best of both worlds.”
The Cloud offers many benefits that outweigh those of in-house servers. You may consider moving your business to the Cloud for the following reasons:
- Reduced Costs
Cloud service providers offer pay-per-use subscription plans. In other words, your expenses scale based solely on your business needs, eliminating additional costs for IT equipment, software updates, and support. This greatly reduces the upfront capital requirement for sophisticated IT systems.
- Reliable Security & Backup
The Cloud typically stores data in data centers that carry far more robust security and backup systems than a small business would be able to afford. When your data moves to and from the Cloud over the Internet, it is typically encrypted to ensure privacy and security.
- Improved Collaboration
Many cloud solutions allow users to share and edit documents together in real-time. Therefore, employees can work on a project or document through one master copy, shortening completion times.
- Greater Flexibility
With the Cloud, work materials can be accessed through any device at any time, allowing employees to work remotely or outside of work hours. Also, owners can manage their business whenever and wherever they please.
- Cloud Is the Future
An Emergent Research and Intuit report forecasts that 80 percent of U.S. small businesses will fully integrate to the Cloud by 2020. Clearly, many business owners find satisfaction in the Cloud’s reliability and efficiency.
Overall, the Cloud can increase your business productivity, progressing other areas of business. Consult an IT specialist about the best options for your business.
Moving to the Cloud might feel as if you’re stepping into unknown territory. However, once you reap the benefits, you may find that you took a step in the right direction!
If you need more information or assistance with implementing cloud-based services into your business, please feel free to contact us. One of our IT specialists will be happy to help. Or click here to join us for a FREE webinar ($500 value)!