Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) look to get more from their technology spending. The cloud, or Internet-based computing, is an effective way to allocate your technology spend, with its flexible and cost-effective self-service model. Read on to learn more about the benefits of cloud computing for SMBs.
What the Cloud Can do for Your Business
In short, cloud computing is an internet-based model for delivering computing resources. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), important aspects of cloud computing include broad network access, resource pooling, and rapid elasticity. Broad network access means that there is connectivity between servers and storage (“backend” infrastructure) and laptops or smartphones (“frontend” clients). The access can extend to a wide range of frontend devices including smart phones, lap-tops, and desktop computers. This enables workers to access applications and other office productivity tools via the internet so they can work wherever they are.
Why the Cloud is Cost Effective
Resource pooling involves a provider serving a number of clients while the service appears infinite and immediately available. Rapid elasticity, perhaps one of the most important traits of cloud computing, allows clients to use more resources (or less) as needed–for busy times of year, or special projects, for instance. This means only pay for what’s used. What’s more, measured service facilitates SMBs tracking usage and not buying more resources than they need. Companies can have the provider maintain and operate infrastructure, transforming capital expense to operating expense.
Cloud Service Platforms and Models
As already mentioned, rapid elasticity is a reason many companies decide to adopt the cloud. According to an article by CompTIA, 44% of firms cite rapid elasticity as a key benefit. Cloud can be more cost-effective, since companies are billed for what they actually use. Whatever a company’s reason for adoption, it will need to consider options for platforms and models. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has access as its key feature, rather than ownership. Companies can build their own applications and use cloud resources for compute power and for data storage. Software as a Service can free a company from part or all of the infrastructure responsibility, and focus on getting the most from applications that are paid for on a subscription plan. Businesses have the option of using public cloud with its rapid elasticity, or private cloud if dealing with sensitive data and/or industry regulations. A single application can be configured across a multi cloud environment (a mixture of public and private cloud).
Cloud computing affords many benefits as well as posing questions. For guidance in considering cloud’s benefits and how they apply to you, contact us today.