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Friday, April 13, 2012

Cloud Computing - Not Just for The Big Boys

Cloud computing is becoming a vital asset of many established businesses, but this might lead those at small and medium-sized enterprises or start-ups to assume that the cloud is something that can only be used by larger companies and is not suitable for them.

In reality, this is far from the truth, since cloud-based services have plenty to offer businesses of all sizes. In fact, it could be much easier for smaller companies to get a foothold in a competitive marketplace if they are harnessing cloud computing rather than ignoring its potential and trailing behind more technically ambitious rivals as a result.

Any business which is in the early stages of its development will need to invest in some kind of IT infrastructure that includes network connectivity and telephony solutions.

However, unless you are mainly operating in a sector related to this type of technology, finding expertise in this area in-house will be difficult.

This means that the services of cloud providers can become even more important if you are not by nature an IT start-up. By sourcing a variety of services, from business email to the running of software applications, via a third-party provider you will take away the burden of initial installation, ongoing maintenance and future upgrades.

Cloud providers can offer uncomplicated hosting packages that will allow you to provide business email accounts to staff, which you can then use to communicate with potential clients and partners so that your start-up is instantly recognizable and eminently professional right from day one.

The power of the cloud can be used to run entire hosted desktops so that managing multiple users is uncomplicated, requires little in-house expertise and can be performed remotely.

This leads to the availability of home working for SMEs which invest in the cloud early on, allowing for a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to working hours and locations.

The cloud will also help when it comes to ensuring the continuity of your fledgling business, because downtime or other disasters which take your normal place of work out of operation can be a terminal problem for start-ups.

The flexibility of the cloud goes hand in hand with its scalability. Any small business will be thinking about growth, but IT can become a bottleneck if you are having to manage, maintain and upgrade everything on-site using only your own resources.

With cloud computing services you have the option to add new users, increase your storage, implement more complicated telephony arrangements and much more without the financial burden or the strain on internal resources.

It is impossible to talk about cloud computing without also mentioning the cost savings which can be made when larger businesses migrate a variety of services to a third-party platform. However, this factor is perhaps even more important for start-ups, which may not have the financial elasticity to rely on an in-house system to do the job which it is supposed to do.

When every penny counts, putting your money into hosting, storage and software as a service through a cloud provider will give you both a short-term cut in the amount you need to invest and a longer-term reduction in costs that will leave your balance sheet looking healthier as your company expands.

Start-ups and small businesses can embrace cloud computing just as fully as bigger companies, with benefits that will be more acutely experienced at the lower end of the market.

The cloud computing market is not one dominated by absolutes, so it is important to remember that adoption can range from minimal to total, with a hybridized approach favored by many companies regardless of size.

This article was written by Daisy Group plc, who have over 12 years experience in data and hosting solutions including cloud hosting services, colocation, data centre and cloud computing services for corporate, public sector and enterprise companies across the UK.   With  4 Teir III Data Centres in Manchester, London, Jersey and Southampton providing 24/7 support 365 Daisy are the natural choice for business hosting solutions.

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