Posted On: February 14, 2011

Cloud Computing – Is it right for you?

Cloud Computing – Is It Right For You?

By now you’ve probably heard the term “cloud computing” and are curious about this burgeoning phenomenon.  In short, cloud computing can be described as the next step in the ongoing evolution of the Internet.  However, the important question isn’t what cloud computing is, but rather what it can offer you.

How does it work?

In essence, cloud computing has taken away the limitations that location can sometimes create.  The “cloud” refers to the on-demand resources, data, software, etc. that are provided by shared servers to users in an economical pay-as-you-use format.  What makes it unique is that all data processing and physical locations of services cannot be pinpointed to one specific known place – hence the term “cloud”.

There is a spectrum of deployment options for cloud computing which need to be considered:

  • Internal/Private
    • IT capabilities are provided as a service over an intranet, within the client and behind the firewall.
    • Hybrid
      • Internal and external service delivery methods are integrated.
      • Public
        • IT activities/functions are provided as a service over an intranet.

Benefits and Features of Cloud Computing

Getting to know the basic features and benefits of cloud computing will make it easier for you to decide whether or not it is for you.  Some of the key features of cloud computing include:

Pay As you Use
Like your utility bills, you only pay for what you use.  This is a big benefit for businesses because of the cost saving implications.  Smaller businesses can benefit  from this the most, as it is an excellent way to save money in the earlier days of operations when finances can be tight.

Reduce Risk
Companies can ensure the right levels of security and resiliency are in place across all business data and processes.

Higher Quality of Service
With cloud computing, companies will experience an improved quality of services and access to new services that help the business grow while reducing costs. With evolved automated processes, personnel no longer have to worry about keeping software current.

Increased Mobility and Flexibility  

The very nature of cloud computing makes it more flexible to the needs of users. For example, employees can access information wherever they are instead of having to be at a predetermined place. Business can now be conducted more spontaneously, and companies now have the ability to react more efficiently and effectively to various unplanned situations that may arise.

Time Saver
Without the hassle of server updates, mundane tasks, and recurring computing issues, organizations can now be more focused on research, development and innovation.  This benefit has both long and short-term advantages. In the short term, firms can keep employees motivated, cut costs and be more efficient. In the long term, ideas can be fully realized and help to generate larger revenues through successful products or services.

I am a mid-sized company, how would this work for me?

Many small and mid-sized companies find that they gain the most value from a Hybrid cloud computing environment.  Most often these services can be tailored to the company’s specific requirements and are flexible so as the company grows the service can be adapted to changing needs.  Hybrid services can include:

  • Access to an IT response line 24/7
  • Access to on-site support
  • Completely managed environment
  • Completely hosted and managed environment 

Cloud computing can have a positive impact on practically every aspect of business. It can reduce costs, promote efficiency, and generate innovation.  The abilities of cloud computing are infinite.  As long as you have a computer and a connection to the Internet, you can use it to meet all of your business needs.

Whatever your opinion is on the fascinating subject of cloud computing, one thing is for certain; it  is changing the way businesses operate.

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