Is Cloud Computing Important to Your Small Business?

Cloud computing has become commonplace and is now employed by many small businesses. But what about using it for your company?

You have probably heard the term. The most widely viewed early advertisement for a cloud computing solution was in 2011 during the Super Bowl. It is likely we will see another one this coming weekend during Super Bowl XLVIII.

What Exactly Is It?

Cloud computing is the use of web-based servers from a third party to provide computing solutions instead of using local personal computers or servers. It is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud computing solutions vary in scope from simple data back up and storage to complete applications with everything needed “behind the scenes” to support business processes.

What Is It Not?

Many vendors are now offering “cloud computing.” In my opinion, if the vendor requires you to install ANY hardware or software, then you are NOT getting a true cloud solution and its associated benefits.

How Wide-Spread Is Use?

Cloud computing has gone mainstream and is now used by hundreds of thousands of companies.

According to cloud-technology research firm Neovise as published in Business News Daily, 54% of businesses now use it. Of those 54%, 75% have multiple cloud solutions.

CIO magazine reports that 33% of IT budgets were to be spent on cloud computing in 2013 and 27% of state and local governments already use it.

Examples

Cloud computing offerings range from simple to complex. Simple examples include e-mail, hosting, and data storage.

Richer and more complex examples are Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resources, Accounting, and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The most well-know example of a complete solution delivered from the cloud is probably Salesforce.com.

Benefits

Traditional non-cloud applications relying on in-house hardware and software are complicated and expensive. A variety of people and skilled experts are needed to operate them successfully.

Cloud computing makes running a small business far faster and easier. An experienced vendor manages the hardware and software, as well as the configuration and advanced support needed for a complete solution.

More powerful solutions are delivered at a much lower cost. Implementation, testing, upgrades, backups, and security management are done for you. There is no hardware to buy or manage. Labor costs are lower. Bundling of a complete solution in one place that solves a business problem eliminates many headaches. A huge benefit is that you only pay for what you use.

Contact us anytime to find out more about how a cloud computing EDI solution from CovalentWorks can benefit your small business.

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