(and why the Lego™ man? see #10 below)
How can small businesses benefit from adopting cloud based applications? This original post outlined the top 10 but while on vacation, I added #11 below.
- Reduced costs: Cloud computing reduces your hardware (computers, software (all those downloaded programs), networking management and overall IT expenses. In addition, with cloud computing, you pay for what you use.
- Scalability: You can scale your business’ storage needs seamlessly rather than having to go out and purchase expensive programs or hardware. A not-for-profit ran a cookbook project and was able to pay for all the cloud apps they needed to create, implement and market their project on a month to month basis. They didn’t have to purchase a piece of hardware, buy software licenses or worry about overloading their servers.
- Automatic Updates: There is no need for IT to worry about paying for your future updates in terms of software and hardware.
- Remote Access: employees, partners and clients can access, and update information wherever they are, rather than having to run back the office.
- Disaster Relief: With your company’s data safely stored on secure data centers instead of your server room (previously known as your storage closet), losing power due to hurricanes, earthquakes or a construction worker cutting the power lines, you are back at work as long as you have an internet connection.
- Ease of Implementation: Your IT team (hopefully older than a 10 year old) may not like this, but implementing cloud services is as easy as, well, setting up a LinkedIn page.
- Skilled Vendors: Who would you rather manage and protect your data? A company such as InfoStreet (with over 16 years experience serving enterprise clients), IBM or Amazon or your IT staff?
- Response Time: Cloud computing accomplishes a better response time in most cases than your standard server and hardware.
- Even playing field for small firms: This allows small companies to complete more effectively with some of the larger businesses, balancing the playing field. Your small business can utilize the same tools that Fortune 100 companies use and can do this because with cloud computing, your business will only pay for what you need (see #1).
- Lego: Children have been playing with Lego since 1916 because Lego allows them to build whatever their imagination designs. Cloud apps allow your business to select what your company needs, when you need it and use it how you want to. You can select an intranet as your platform, email and CRM from InfoStreet, email marketing tools from Topica, financial services from yet another vendor….. you use and pay for only what you need
It’s like Lego™ for grown-ups. Only better.
July, 2011: I am taking the liberty of adding #11.
11: Mobility: I have spent the last 2 weeks traveling throughout the south, starting in Gatlinburg, Tenn. and ending in Miami, Fl. Beautiful country but some areas are remote, to say the least. Yet everywhere we went we saw people on their smartphones, tablets, netbooks and laptops, communicating for work or for pleasure. I was able to help a customer with a time sensitive issue while in the Great Smokey Mountains, review and edit a presentation for a conference on a dock in Douglas Lake, Skype with a potential partner out of the country on the way to white water rafting and write this blog post sitting on the deck on the Gulf of Mexico. This may not be your idea of a vacation but in today’s business climate staying in touch and in control of your responsibilities is not always an option. I had access to all the information and data I needed, was able to collaborate with co-workers, partners and customers in real time and keep up to date with my team from my netbook in my backpack.
I saw the most beautiful skies during this trip, but it is the cloud that gave me the freedom to enjoy the scenery while honoring my obligations.
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