Should Your Business Start Using the Cloud?
Small and medium-sized business owners and entrepreneurs often ask themselves if their enterprises should start using the cloud. What many business owners do not realize is that many of their data assets are already in the cloud. Webmail, online social networks and applications that can be accessed through a modern browser are examples of cloud computing.
What is important for business owners to consider is the type of enterprise cloud solution they should choose. At a minimum, applications such as optimized storage can help lower business costs, but there are many other cloud options available. Storage should always be the starting point for the following reasons:
Consolidation and Security
Business owners should be in control of their data at all times. Studies have shown that in the modern world of enterprise, one in five employees is bound to deposit and transfer work files in a personal cloud storage solution. They do this for many reasons, but primarily because they enjoy the flexibility of their chosen personal cloud solution; for example, being able to access files across various platforms such as desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.
The main problem with employees using their own personal cloud storage is that it is extremely risky. Many of these solutions have social networking features such as sharing that could ultimately jeopardize company operations. The other issue is that employees seldom agree on the personal cloud storage solution to use, which makes it difficult to organize and consolidate data.
Flexibility and Scalability at Very Low Costs
In the past, the costs and complexity of maintaining a client-server model at the office were prohibitive for most small and medium-sized enterprises. These days, however, the cloud makes it possible for any company to handle an entire digital enterprise without major expenditures.
Gone are the days of purchasing expensive servers, switches, routers, etc. With enterprise cloud solutions, a business only has to invest in workstations, which these days do not even have to be desktop PCs. Laptops, tablets and even smartphones are part of the new personal computing paradigm, and many companies are adopting the “bring your own device” (BYOD) model to cut down on hardware expenses and clutter. To this end, thin clients and virtualization are also attractive solutions for small businesses to consider.
Any business with access to Internet-connected devices equipped with modern browsers can enter the cloud. When it comes time to expand the business, enterprise cloud solutions offer easy and affordable options for scalability, which can even be activated only for certain periods when a company expects to be busier.