Cloud Computing: Future Opportunities for Small Businesses
Even if you are not a techie, you have most likely heard about cloud computing, also known as grid computing, or as Software-As-a-Service (SaaS). Similarly to virtualization, cloud computing has already become mainstream, and now even small businesses and individuals can take advantage of it.
What Is Cloud Computing?
There are many definitions of cloud computing, but since more or less they are technical in nature, I’d rather define it in simple terms. With cloud computing, a company (a cloud computing service provider) operates the infrastructure required to run particular software applications and services and rents access to these software applications and services to its subscribers.
In other words, when you subscribe to a cloud computing service provider, you don’t have to buy hardware, purchase licenses, install applications and configure them because all this has been done for you by the cloud computing service provider.
SaaS is the most popular form of cloud computing, especially for small businesses and digital marketing companies like SEO Services New York. This is why SaaS is frequently used as a synonym of cloud computing, though this isn’t precise. Because, in addition to SaaS, cloud computing also includes IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). Still, since the only interaction most small businesses have with cloud computing is SaaS, you could use the terms interchangeably.
Why A Small Company Benefits from SaaS and Cloud Computing in General
The benefits of SaaS and cloud computing in general for a small business are somewhat tangible, and this is why cloud computing has become so popular. Here are some significant advantages of cloud computing for a small company:
- Cloud computing cuts costs. When you don’t have to buy hardware and software to run the applications you need, this drastically decreases your costs. In this relation, you can think of cloud computing as a form of renting (as opposed to buying) the capacity you need.
- Cloud computing requires fewer resources than traditional computers. In addition to serious cost savings, another advantage of cloud computing is that since you don’t have to deal with it in-house, you don’t need an army of IT pros to deploy the software you need. Savings from salaries could even exceed the savings from hardware and software, which is one more reason for you to be happy.
- Deployment costs are only a fraction of ongoing maintenance costs for an in-house solution, so actually, your savings span throughout time.
- Cloud computing is flexibility. Cloud computing gives more flexibility because generally, the principle is Pay-as-you-go – i.e., you pay only for what you have used. With in-house installations, you have fixed running costs that go out of your pocket even when you don’t use the application.
- Thanks to cloud computing you can experience new technologies. Finally, one more benefit of cloud computing is that thanks to it you can get in touch with new technologies. New technologies are expensive, and even if you have the budget to afford them in-house, the investment is pointless because new technologies get old pretty fast.
Benefits like these make cloud computing a viable option for small businesses. As you see, the advantages of cloud computing aren’t only monetary, and for many small companies, these benefits can mean a lot.
Cloud Computing and Risks Ahead
Unfortunately not. If cloud computing were free of exploits, then it would have been the first perfect thing in the world. Cloud computing does have its risks, but if you know what to watch for and pick certified professionals, then you will hardly have cloud computing horror stories to tell. Data security is the most prominent risk with SaaS, followed closely by service availability, but if you sign with a reliable company, then the risks are decreased.