As one of the greatest game-changers in the digital age, cloud computing has altered the way we create, access, and distribute information. One of the most noticeable advantages of moving your business to the cloud is that it offers small and medium enterprises (SMEs) substantial savings. As a result, cloud computing solutions, specifically software-as-a-service or SAAS, have become key to the operations and even service delivery of many small businesses. With continued innovation and changes in how we work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the future is expected to be extremely competitive.
This article serves as a beginners’ guide to cloud computing and its benefits for small businesses.
Cloud computing is an extensive virtual information bank that manages and stores information, runs applications, or delivers content or services through the internet. In simpler words, cloud computing deals with the cloud or the internet (check out our article on the Internet of Things (IoT) to learn more about how the cloud works).
The cloud is merely a less technical way of depicting computers and remote servers that can be accessed through the internet. For instance, when watching movies on Amazon Prime Video, the platform is accessing information from the cloud, since the video file is stored on one of Amazon’s servers. Similarly, if you use custom web applications like Shopify.com, you’re accessing your business from a server that’s positioned in different parts of the world.
Any software or service, moreover, that runs on the internet instead of on a computer, is regarded as the cloud. This includes streaming videos on Netflix or Hulu. Or even accessing social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Cloud computing even applies to email services, such as Gmail, Outlook 365, or Yahoo Mail. Small businesses can leverage a vast array of cloud solutions instead of using the conventional method of installing software directly onto a computer. All that is needed is a good internet connection. Virtually all the aspects of a business can be managed through the cloud.
Cloud computing is generally grouped into two broad categories– services offered and the location of cloud computing. First, let’s dissect the services category of cloud computing.
The second category of cloud computing is based on location. There are diverse deployment models that control how a user can connect to a preferred cloud service. The following are examples of location.
Regardless of the nature and size of your SME, your business can benefit from cloud computing as opposed to utilizing traditional software.
Cloud-based apps can support your small business’s ability to get things done in the future. A small business has the elasticity to add capacity when it is deemed fit, without needing to recreate the wheel.
Today, there are numerous SAAS providers out there offering comparable products, which can sometimes be difficult to make your business stand out from the pack. Thus, finding the perfect cloud-computing solution for your business is worth the consideration. Although, the kind of services and deployment you choose will largely depend on the specific needs of your business. Contact us if you need help tweaking a current solution to fit your business needs. We help small businesses customize SAAS products for their specific business. Contact us to see how we can help you!