A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The advent of cloud services as well as their steady improvement in such areas as security and reliability make these solutions a logical choice for business owners and principals who want the latest innovations, functionality, and efficiency as well as cost effectiveness.
Many businesses garner considerable cost savings by migrating their software systems to the cloud. In addition to reducing reliance on the purchase and maintenance of servers, companies often lower their information technology costs in such areas as dedicated personnel and software upgrades. Most cloud services upgrade and update software via the Internet with little or no downtime for end users, decreasing the wait time associated with installing and testing software on an on-site network. Moreover, according to Australia-based Dynamic Business, cloud-based products are scalable; unlike conventional software, cloud services can be expanded as needed to encompass as many end users as required without server upgrades to handle added workloads.
Companies also reap significant functionality from cloud services. The cloud allows designated employees to access data from anywhere. That means that an employee on vacation or in an airplane can examine information and work on projects using a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. It also increases an organization’s ability to outsource many functions without sacrificing collaboration. Because employees and contractors can work together effectively from numerous locations, companies also gain the opportunity to hire people with very specialized skills or superior capabilities even if they live in a different part of the world.
Cloud-based services also provide virtual storage options that protect data and make it readily available even in the event of an outage at a company’s physical location. Information Week reports that software-as-a-service vendors are expanding their offerings to make them extremely efficient and cost effective for small and medium businesses, often giving the smallest organizations the ability to integrate into their business operations the same class of technology used by the largest enterprises.
By Glenn Blake