We have already discussed the main concepts of the cloud in Small Businesses Struggling With Cloud Adoption.
The main uses for the cloud
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
IaaS can be very confusing for small businesses because of the prospect of transferring all of their data from physical servers to virtual servers can seem quite daunting. Despite this, IaaS offers small businesses considerable benefits as they can use the service on a pay as you go to go service and don't have to worry about storage, security and disaster recovery.
There are many options out there for small businesses as many of the major vendors are now offering specific small business packages.
Startups should not waste cash buying physical servers and opt for cloud based solutions immediately.
Platform As A Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service is a common environment to run all of your business applications. PaaS eliminates the requirement to have many developers building apps and integrating them into the business. PasMore...PaaS provides all the infrastructure needed to develop and run applications over the Internet.
Small businesses have been slower to adopt to PAAS,More...PaaS because of its reltionship with SaaS but it certainly has many advantages, especially if the business uses several applications.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Adoption rates for SaaS has been much higher and almost every small business uses SaaS even if they are not aware of it. SaaS is simply software delivered over the internet.
SaaS Business Applications
- Accounting / Asset Management
- Customer Relationship Management / Sales
- Project Management
- Document Management / Collaboration
- Human Resources
If done correctly businesses can reduce costs, increase productivity, improve customer services and give your business the competitive edge.
Tips when finding a Cloud Provider
Assess how your employees will adopt to the cloud by trialing a Google docs collaboration with a few employees.
It is really important to have a cloud strategy, do lots of research on how your business can benefit from cloud computing and map out how it can help drive your business forward. Assess potential vendors by analysing whether they can scale to meet your needs, if they cannot keep looking.
Make sure your data is accessible
Make sure you can export in the formats used by Word, Excel, and other programs you use. That way, you can back up and access your data locally or move it easily to another service later.
Evaluate more than one service
Consider open-source cloud services
This arrangement encourages third-party developers to build add-ons that make a cloud-based service even more feature-rich. Plus, it allows you to create your own tools for using the service that are unique to your business.
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