Businesses of all types, from start-ups to large enterprises, can benefit from cloud computing. Cloud computing keeps start up expenses low by eliminating the need for expensive servers, software and full-time IT professionals. A monthly fee may be charged to receive access to state-of-the-art servers and applications. Experienced IT professionals are also included in the cost. Cloud computing may also be used as a solution for disaster recovery. The implications for cloud computing are far-reaching.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Affordable. Cloud computing is affordable. Hosting companies assume all server costs, upgrade costs, risk and liability associated with cloud computing. These companies charge a single monthly charge for server space, maintenance, upgrades and help desk support. Cloud computing is recommended for start-ups without a significant amount of start-up capital.
Business owners also do not have to predict spikes in traffic on servers. The hosting company is responsible increasing server space as needed. This saves money on server costs and constant upgrades. Business owners can focus on sales, marketing and product design or services.
Increased Mobility and Productivity. Companies become more productive and mobile with cloud computing. With increased mobility, employees can access applications from any location with a browser or Internet connection. This improves productivity of employees who need to travel and work outside the office while meeting clients. Client information and notes from meetings can be updated in real-time. The information is accessible by all authorized employees.
Disaster Recovery. Disaster recovery protects businesses if a natural disaster or power outage occurs in an organization. Disaster recovery also protects against theft. If companies experience an unfortunate event, employees can immediately resume work from homes, hotels, coffee shops or other alternative locations. With web-based applications, businesses lose little revenue because companies can resume work within a short period of time.
Secure. Encryption keeps applications and data secure. Security is the largest concern of most companies considering cloud computing. Most organizations are fearful of data loss or theft of proprietary information when using a hosting company. Private servers are more secure and less likely to suffer interruption or data breach due to unscrupulous business practices. Security is a priority of cloud computing hosting companies because these companies know how important data protection is to businesses.
Scalable. Hosting companies provided scalable web-based solutions. Business owners need to assign a login and password to every new employee, and the applications will be accessible as long access is included in the monthly subscription costs. This is excellent for growing businesses because these companies do not have to predict growth patterns. Business owners can simply add on new subscriptions as needed. This business model provides enormous flexibility to business owners.
How to Determine If a Business is Ready for the Switch
Businesses must first identify their mission critical applications. Once mission critical applications are identified, companies can decide which applications should be hosted through third-party companies. Companies must decide whether a private hosting solution or a shared hosting solution is the best way to host data and mission critical applications.
Once this is determined, business owners must decide if the security is enough to protect proprietary information. Some companies require customized servers. Other companies can accept shared servers in a standard configuration. For instance, an eCommerce company depending solely on a website for income will require a private server. A website only for information may only require a shared server.
In general, a business is ready to make the switch if the company is comfortable with the idea of data hosted offsite and if the company can afford the monthly fee. Many hosting companies offer a free trial. There is nothing to lose if a company tries non-mission critical applications first.
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