Cloud Computing for Business
Are you ready to take your business into the digital world? Good! It means you’re on your way to expand your brand to new horizons not only domestically, but worldwide too! However, do you have the right tools at hand? And your strategies? Do you know how to begin this journey? Careful: if you don’t have any of these, you might be treading into dangerous waters!
You must keep up with the latest technologies in order to remain competitive in the growing digital marketplace, so you need to know how to handle and incorporate these technologies properly into your brand, especially if you’re a beginner. One of the best ways to start is by familiarizing yourself with one essential thing every business should master from the beginning: cloud computing. What is “cloud computing”, you ask? Well, keep reading and discover how this nifty digital tool will become your online brand’s brain as it grows in the digital world.
What is Cloud Computing?
To be precise, it’s going to be “Cloud Computing for Business” in our case, because, in theory, you’ll be using the cloud for business matters. But, what’s exactly cloud computing? How does it work? What kind of cloud do you have to place your business on? And why Cloud Computing is important for business? Well, relax. Let’s check first the definition of “cloud computing” and then we’ll go back to business (no pun intended).
Basically, cloud computing refers to managing your computing resources online through a third-party storage network. Operating “in the cloud” (the cloud here refers to the internet, by the way) means storing and accessing your business data through internet, which is essentially helpful for all kinds of business worldwide, even more so for travelling salesmen.
Is Cloud Computing Good for Small Business?
People might feel a bit uneasy having to rely on a third party to store their brand’s sensitive info, but don’t worry: cloud computing for business is the best way to kickstart your career online. It will become the place where you’ll store and recover important data safely anytime, anywhere.
As a matter of fact, cloud computing for small business matters is a must in most cases, especially if your brand is still on its early stages and requires a safe place to contain its most sensitive info.
Many people tend to lose important data for not storing them appropriately, which results in management problems and terrible losses. Cloud computing will help you keep everything under control and save you when you least expect it! This is perhaps one of the major benefits of cloud computing, but we’ll explain it later on.
For the time being, let us explain three cloud computing service models that will illustrate you a bit more about the way a cloud computing for business works.
Three Ways Cloud Computing Works
There are 3 main types of cloud computing services as of today. Let us explain each one of them.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
This is the most common model for cloud computing for small business tasks. Basically, you just access to an internet-hosted software application through your browser, which is responsible for looking after the application’s system. As a user, you don’t have much control over the application and its settings, but you can use some services it offers in exchange for your membership.
Some good examples of SaaS services are web-based mail services or customer support systems, which are excellent options when settling yourself into the digital ground for the first time.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This model requires you to buy or rent your computer power and disk space from a third party, which will allow you to access a private network and not just the internet. Basically, this service allows you to keep your physical computer hardware, while also keeping your information online in a safe environment.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides the best of SaaS and IaaS: you get software servers and online applications as in SaaS, and also the hardware, systems, storage and network, as with IaaS. This is basically the most “powerful” cloud computing service model worldwide, as you have complete control over the software and the hardware of your brand’s online services. In theory, this every company’s online computing wish come true.
How Cloud Computing Benefits a business?
The benefits of cloud computing are plenty and easy to list. First, it offers flexible ways to connect to your brand anytime, anywhere, be it from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even through some Smart TVs! Second, they are an important part of the business continuity plans, which refers to protecting your data and systems during a catastrophic event, such as a natural disaster and power failure; cloud computing services will save your information and keep it safe, until you access it and resume your work once again!
Finally, one of the major benefits of cloud computing is that it makes it easier to manage your team and maintain your IT systems, thus saving you from the need of getting expensive equipment and/or staff to help you take care of your online tasks. Furthermore, it also enhances collaboration between you and your coworkers, as everybody can access the same files and keep an up-to-date communication flow among the biz family.
Basically, the major cloud based solutions for business revolve around safety, flexibility and smooth communication. This can’t happen if your business doesn’t have an operating website. Keeping a domain renewed is crucial, or else, anyone else can purchase the domain publicly if it expires (or passes the renewal date) Beware of a domain listings scam where a business or individual will try to sucker you into their services for renewal rather than renewing the domain at the current domain register i.e. Namecheap, GoDaddy, Google Domain, 1&1, etc.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Cloud Computing?
We won’t lie: yes, there are some disadvantages of cloud computing, and they revolve around the most important factor among cloud business solutions: safety!
You see, if you don’t have a proper privacy agreement and neither you nor the service provider fulfills dutifully their respective online responsibilities, your personal data could be at risk.
Also, if you don’t know how your information will be stored and secured by your selected external service provider, and if the contract doesn’t address legal mitigations and security risks, you might be placing sensitive data in the hands of an unreliable provider! Always get sure where the computing service providers are located, research a bit of their background, and update yourself with the legislations that could protect you domestically and abroad (sometimes regulations differ drastically between your home country and other overseas countries).
So, before fully entrusting yourself to cloud computing, assess the risks before you hand control over to a cloud service provider and do a thorough investigation on your provider of choice.
How Can Cloud Computing Provide Value to a Business?
Precisely because of these disadvantages and other factors, many people don’t expect the cloud computing for business strategies to walk outside the brand’s IT department. However, believe it or not, but some of the most well-known companies have become more valuable after they decided to move their services to the cloud, and with a great level of success! To paint a clearer picture, let’s use two famous examples. We’re pretty sure you’ll recognize them almost immediately.
Yeah, Netflix! And it’s a rather funny story too.
You see, after its massive growth, Netflix discovered that it was outpacing its traditional data center’s capability and getting a load of work to do, so they decided to turn to cloud services to help them address the customers’ demand at a fast pace and solve the activity lulls. To put it in perspective, an average Netflix weeknight accounts for nearly a third of all Internet traffic in the United States, so, as you can imagine, they would need an enormous amount of manpower to manage the services, if it weren’t because of cloud computing!
If you think it thorough, Xerox’s move to cloud computing services isn’t too much of a surprise. As one of the most powerful paper-photocopy enterprises worldwide, we should have expected that it would have, sooner or later, offered cloud based solutions for some of their products, such as their Cloud Print Solution, which lets users to access printers anywhere. Also, Xerox offers its own cloud service catered towards businesses on the rise, which is something that many cloud based businesses, particularly those that require lots of paperwork to get done, truly appreciate!
So, Let’s Sum Up What We Discovered Along The Way
To put it in simpler terms, cloud computing services refers to storing and accessing important data in a special online storage that will safe-keep your data at all times. Cloud computing is the best way to fully immerse into the digital marketplace nowadays, as it will essentially become the “memory bank” of your business’ brain, even something close to a personality. SAP provides endless possibilities for businesses to expand and reach new opportunities with diverse options.
Although there are security risks you should be aware of, this is mostly an overall safe practice and something we recommend for small entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to expand their presence online. As a matter of fact, we believe that the benefits – safe storage of sensitive data, global accessibility, social and online networking advantages, and affordable scalability – outweigh the potential risks (which are largely due to neglect, honestly), so we assure you that cloud computing for businesses is the first step you should take to start branch your business to the digital world.