When starting a business, servers and networking equipment can be a significant expense. To reduce this burden, many businesses are turning to cloud computing. Cloud computing provides a number of benefits including improved scalability, cheaper support, and automated backups.
As a result, you have more time and energy to spend on other business needs. Here is an overview of what cloud computing has to offer.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing (also known as hosted services) is a vague term. It can be anything from data storage on large corporate servers to using Coordinated Business Systems to host your company’s email and virtual desktops. In cloud computing, a program or application runs on a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet. Unlike applications on personal computers, these programs and applications can run from anywhere in the world. Cloud computing relies on dynamically scaled resources which makes it both efficient and affordable for smaller businesses. Since these programs and applications can run from anywhere in the world, who do you trust with your data? With cloud computing, you’re getting the benefits of scalability but with that comes the risk of putting your data into the wrong hands. It’s important to ensure that the organization you’re trusting with your data is reliable and is protecting your information as if it was their own.
The Advantages of Cloud Computing:
One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is the flexibility it offers in terms of scaling server resources. A major concern when purchasing computing equipment is whether or not the purchase will scale as your business grows. If you buy equipment that only covers current needs, you’ll likely need to buy additional equipment in the future. Most network engineers tell you to buy extra equipment up front so you can be sure to avoid any scaling issues. However this extra equipment can cost thousands, so most business owners are averse to making such investments if they can avoid it. With cloud computing, you pay only for the resources you use, and as you grow you can scale up the available resources as you need them. Cloud computing lets you scale resources up or down, so costs can scale with your business revenue. Most businesses have seasonal spikes, so you pay more only when necessary and reduce costs during slow months.
A good cloud computing hosting service also offers full support, regardless of the time of day. Hiring personnel to handle problems with in-house equipment would be much more expensive. For instance, if you have an e-commerce store, you’ll be out thousands of dollars if your hardware fails in the middle of the night. With cloud computing, the hosting service automatically monitors and restarts your servers at all hours, for no additional fee.
Finally, cloud computing offers automated backups. Backups are a saving grace in the event of a server crash or catastrophic incident, but managing them is difficult. You not only need to remember to make backups regularly, but you must store them in a safe place. Most cloud computing hosting services avoid these types of issues entirely. First, almost all cloud computing platforms offer some type of built in backup automation solution. Second, the host has plenty of space where you can store your backups. Finally, cloud computing hosts make it easy to rely on these backups when disaster strikes.
Many small businesses have a volatile first few years, especially on the technology front. Fortunately, cloud computing can reduce costs and keep your startup running smoothly around-the-clock. There are several cloud computing hosts to choose from, so do your homework before signing any long-term contract.