A recent survey by IBM of more than 1500 CEOs worldwide found that close to 80% believed their IT environments would become much more complex in the coming years. Fewer then half believed their companies were prepared for this event.
For many small to medium sized businesses increasing technological demands need to be addressed before they affect growth and your ability to change and respond quickly. Enter cloud computing. The cloud offers small business the ability to grow and respond by offering a suite of digital tools that can simplify your IT infrastructure.
Many business owners may not be fully aware of all that cloud computing offers. The cloud has rapidly grown to encompass more than web hosting. Today, cloud computing can provide all of your company’s IT needs. It’s flexible, scalable, safe and most important, affordable.
Which Cloud Is Right For You?
There are several different options when it comes to today’s cloud. Depending on your needs, it may be possible to transition your IT to the cloud instead of investing time and money on infrastructure and hardware. Two of the more popular services available are:
• Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – With SaaS your cloud service provider hosts your enterprise applications and all associated data on their servers and provides storage space. Users access servers and applications using a web browser. You are charged a monthly fee per user.
• Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – With IaaS the provider offers virtual machines, physical servers, storage, switching, and connectivity resources (bandwidth) to run your enterprise services on a pay as you go basis. You’re responsible for installing and maintaining the operating system and virtual machine. The provider manages the infrastructure hardware that your virtual machine runs on.
Cloud computing provides the flexibility and scalability that allows you to scale up quickly in the event of sudden growth or a special project. It also allows you to scale down as special projects end, or seasonal peaks return to normal. Because you are paying for services as you use them, you can expand or contract without capital expenditure for new hardware, servers and storage. Cloud computing is an economical way to support both users and IT services.
Flexibility, Scalability… and Mobility
Migrating to the cloud gives your employees the ability to work from virtually anywhere in the world, anytime of the day or night via the Internet. This means employees have access to their desktop 24/7. Because your server is virtual and your applications are Internet based, the cloud supports any device whether a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Data is synced across devices and your provider maintains all software so you are always working with the latest version.
These are just a few of the benefits of migrating your IT to the cloud. The takeaway is that cloud computing gives you access to sophisticated, up to date technology at a reasonable cost. As with any technology, do your due diligence to determine if a move to the cloud is right for you.