Cloud Computing in a Nutshell. “The cloud’ has probably come up in business conversations you’ve had recently. It’s one of the latest and hippest IT buzzwords, which is increasingly floating around. But as a small business owner, you hear a lot buzzwords like this. And it’s virtually impossible for you to understand what they all mean and whether they’re worth your time or investment.
After all, you a have a million and one other things to do to make sure your business is running smoothly. With that in mind, I’ve knocked up this article in order to give you a little clarity. And a little know-how. So that in 5 minutes from now you’ll understand what cloud computing is, why everyone’s bangin’on about it, and how it can help your business succeed. So let’s start with the basics.
If you don’t know what ‘the cloud’ is – relax. It’s really quite simple. Any program or service which is sent over an internet connection is essentially a cloud service. It’s when an outside vendor runs the software and servers, and the programme itself is available to you online, so that you don’t have to manage any of the technical stuff yourself.
Ever used Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Google Drive, Facebook, Evernote or Dropbox? Then you’ve used ‘the cloud’. More and more services are becoming cloud-based. The question is, how can this help a small business like yours?
When starting a business, there are a lot of costs involved – as I’m sure you know. Using cloud-based services for things like email, document sharing and online conferences will save you a heap of money.
You won’t need to fork out for servers or expensive programmes. And with the usual cloud-based model of subscription, you can use as much or as little as you need.
Many small businesses won’t have a typical office set up with full-time, in-house staff members. You might have flexible employees working remotely or even contractors you’ve found in far away lands.
Cloud-computing allows your employees to easily access and share documents and emails wherever they might be based, using tools like Google Drive, Sharepoint and Online Exchange. And they can even do this while on the move – with a tablet or smart phone. In fact, do you even need to pay for that expensive office?
Moving into ‘the cloud’ is going to require no training, IT administration or software installation. It’s a piece of cake. Saving work to a Google Drive is no more complicated than saving to a hard drive. And most cloud services are as easy as pie to use.
Sometimes s!*t happens. And we’re left with a mutant virus, a broken laptop or worse – the ashy remains of a burnt down office. Data loss in these unfortunate scenarios can be a small business killer. Or at least set you back a heck load. But if all your data is safely stored elsewhere in ‘the cloud’ then you can get back on your feet in no time.
And cloud computing providers like Google and Microsoft have much much more secure servers and data centres than you could ever have.
With cloud-computing your employees can access and work on the same file wherever they are – in real-time. So forget the time-wasting days of emailing attachments back and forth. This will do wonders for your productivity and creativity, which in turn, will do wonders for the success of your business.