Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 05/17/16

Are You Missing Out On the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

By Paul Fitzgerald for America's Backbone Weekly

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Businesses are always looking for new ways to be more efficient with their time, space and operations costs.

Meet Cloud computing, which is proven to be a real benefit for businesses looking to gain a real competitive advantage in the market.

Cloud computing replaces your reliance on a hard drive, allowing for increased storing and accessing of data and programs over the Internet. "Cloud" is a metaphor for the Internet. Switching from storing your data on local hard drives and servers to storing on the Internet is a big change for medium sized businesses. However the change is positive: cloud is a more efficient way to store and share files and helps boost productivity both within and outside the workplace.

Small Businesses Head For The Cloud
Already, more than 37 percent of businesses in the U.S. have fully adapted to cloud computing, and a recent Intuit study indicates that figure could double to 80 percent by 2020.


There are many benefits to switching, including lower costs. Cloud computing frees up hardware previously occupied with storage, increasing the utility of physical servers, allowing businesses to do more with less computing power.

By decreasing the demand load on local servers, medium sized businesses can decrease rack space, power usage and IT requirements, translating into lower installation, maintenance, hardware, upgrade and support costs. Savings like this are invaluable for any business.

In today's world of temporary outsourcing to control costs, collaboration is made easy in the cloud. Whether you're working with contractors or employees remotely, the ability to save and access various files through the cloud enables everyone to easily work from the same master document and this is great on the efficiency front. Cloud collaboration tools like Google Drive let users upload, edit and comment on documents. Keep in mind that you can limit employee access but your ability to access files through the cloud makes it easy to track and manage individual progress on assignments.

Cloud Computing Works
Cloud computing can increase a business's flexibility one of the most alluring benefits of being able to access work-related files and information from any device, any place, any time. Now that we're in a mobile world, you can now say goodbye to the days where files were stuck on a single computer, or inside a single server. Everyone now is more connected than ever with new technology and cloud computing.

Lifestyles are changing, and demands on employees' lives outside of work, for example, make flexible working conditions attractive to potential talent and to keeping valuable employees. As technology evolves, so does office culture and the ability to access work materials outside of the office is quite essential. Cloud computing can make it easier for employees to work outside of the office, and for business owners to manage their business any time of day, from anywhere.

Adding the increased mobility, and flexibility, that cloud computing offers can also lead to additional cost savings. With so many smartphones, tablets and laptop options offered on the market today, and so many preferences to match, medium sized business owners can opt for BYOD (bring your own device), which allows employees to work on devices they already own and are comfortable with, such as tablets and laptops and even their smartphones.

Adopting cloud-based computing adds multiple integration opportunities, and simplified integration. Small businesses that "cloud-adapt" have the option to integrate with various cloud-based providers that specialize in back-office operations -- from human resources to marketing to accounting, to name a few examples. Integration opportunities like this give medium sized businesses more time to focus on other areas of their business. Skyvia's Cloud Data Integration, IBM Integration Systems, Gartner MQ Cloud and Jive.com are just a handful of companies offering cloud services.

Enhanced Security For Your Business
While all of the possibilities for cloud computing are intriguing and beneficial, coming out from behind the fire-wall and into the cloud means keeping a keen eye to security should be part of any cloud computing innovation in how you do business.

To address security concerns, the integration must be able to authenticate and authorize access to resources at-source, and in the cloud. It should also be able to store encrypted data, especially in a multi-client environment, in accordance with various regulations such as SSAE 16, the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements, in conjunction with ISO 9000 quality control specifications.

The growing need for software and mobile applications, as well as social media services that can connect businesses to the cloud securely, without compromising firewalls, will always require credible security measures. If you keep this in mind, you can be cloud computing safely and making your business more profitable at the same time.

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