We’ve been hearing a lot about cloud computing lately, but what exactly is it? And why is it referred to as “cloud” computing?
According to McKinsey & Company, 80% of large companies in the United States are already using or looking into using cloud computing. But does it work for small business, too?
Benefits of cloud computing
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of cloud computing and then discuss what types of businesses it works best for.
• Accessibility. Cloud computing can be used anytime, anywhere, so long as the user has an Internet connection. Cloud is even accessible via smartphones and tablets.
• Reduced costs. You do not need to purchase any specialized hardware or software.
• Fewer people needed. Cloud allows you to be more productive with fewer people.
• Work remotely. Individuals can work from home which means less overhead for you.
• More storage space. Businesses pay a small fee for a vast amount of storage, something they may not receive with a hard drive.
• Easily share files. Files can be shared and accessed amongst all employees, vastly improving the infrastructure of the business.
• Uses less energy. Cloud uses 30% less energy than regular servers, perfect for companies concerned with protecting the environment.
What types of businesses does Cloud work for?
We know cloud computing works well for large businesses since it creates more storage and allows more access to important data, but what about small ones?
Since cloud is paving the way for the future of businesses, it’s something small businesses should jump on and learn as well. Experts agree that eventually computing in cloud will take over regular desktop computing, so small businesses can get one step ahead of the game by using it now.
Not only is it extremely convenient (remember, you can access cloud anywhere), but since files are stored and shared via the Internet, there’s no risk of losing all your files if your hard drive crashes. Even if you’re business only consists of you and you’ve only put in a few weeks of work, losing your files is never fun.
In short, cloud computing can and does work for businesses of all sizes – be it a one-man show or a Fortune 500 company.
Are there any disadvantages to Cloud?
Though there aren’t many disadvantages, there are of course a few.
For one, cloud does experience technical issues every now and then. If you use cloud, you will run into network or connectivity issues – and this could be detrimental if the situation is urgent. Since cloud is also run on the Internet, your company may be susceptible to hackers or attacks. Remember, nothing on the Internet is 100% safe and secure.
Finally, all of your vital information is being run by a third-party host, meaning you want to spend the time and energy choosing a trusted company that’s a perfect fit for your business.
Yes – there are disadvantages – but overall cloud computing’s advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Since the future of all businesses seems to be headed here, it would be a good idea to get on board sooner rather than later.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer covering topics onGary Crittenden, personal finance and small businesses. She lives in Glendale, AZ with her husband and daughter.
License: Creative Commons image source