The cloud: the ethereal word that encompasses where all of our information is floating these days. We’re turning from racks full of paper files to gigabytes filled with data. The ease of cloud computing may be the right decision for your business, and we’re here to show you how to start thinking about making that transition.
If you need an explanation of what the cloud is, Mashable has a pretty user-friendly description of it that you can read here. Cloud Computing: The Complete Guide is another comprehensive guide to the cloud that you can check out.
The major draw of transitioning to the cloud is the ease of access; instead of being stuck using software or pulling up information from just one location, you can access it from anywhere. It’s likely that some of what you do is already focused in the cloud: for example, your email, if you use a web-based service instead of a desktop-based client. Perhaps you share brainstorming documents or your employee manual on Google Drive. Taking this convenience and inter-connectivity and making it a reality with all or most of your information might be the next step.
Most small businesses let larger companies take care of the cloud computing and security for them. This is definitely easier, as creating your own cloud can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult—not to mention potentially insecure. Most companies offer some sort of savings, as your business generally only pays for what it uses. Below is a list of possibilities to consider.
1. Office 365 offers a customizable subscription to Microsoft Office services, including extras such as Skype minutes, online storage, and online conferencing.
2. Amazon Web Services provides a more comprehensive cloud computing service and is directed towards general IT usage and resources.
3. If you’re looking for a very budget-friendly option, HP offers open source cloud computing through openstack. HP is investing a lot of money into expanding this service in the next few years, so it may become even more viable as an option.
4. SAP Business Suite is looking to integrate their business into the cloud. Here is a recent article discussing it. If your business currently uses SAP Business One, consider checking out our parent company’s training video site, Business One Training.
5. And of course there’s our loving overlord of the internet, Google. Google is already so ubiquitous in the cloud that many users already use their basic cloud services, but as a business, consider upgrading to a full cloud computing service through the company.