Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How cloud computing can help your business

Technological advances have provided opportunities for small businesses that have previously been very expensive and only available to big companies with large IT departments. A great benefit for cloud services, which is any infrastructure, platform or software service that is Internet based, is that you can start your company with minimal upfront resources and can scale up as your business grows. For a business owner, cloud computing allows you to:

• save money,

• scale your business,

• increase your services

• and minimize risk.

This allows the entrepreneur to compete as a much larger company while still remaining small. Some of the benefits of cloud services for your small business go beyond just hosting your website and you will be able to take advantage of a myriad of services that allow you to run your business more efficiently. Some of these advantages are:

Price: One of the major advantages of using cloud services are savings in operating costs. You can reap the benefits of lower operating costs by not having any in-house IT infrastructure such as:

• expensive servers,

• networking equipment

• or even the need to hire IT staff.

In the past, businesses had to manage their own internal computing resources, which created huge overhead costs that were insurmountable barriers for small business owners. However, with cloud computing and the myriad of services that you can choose from such as:

• marketing automation,

• project management,

• accounting

• and CRM applications,

Business owners can now lower the upfront costs of running their businesses and provide great value for their customers.

Scalability: One of the benefits of cloud computing services is the ability to purchase services according to your business needs. Many cloud service providers offer a pay as you go pricing, allowing you to manage upfront costs. You only pay for what you need, and as your business grows so does your usage. There is also is the option to integrate their services with other platforms through open APIs.

Flexibility: Cloud services allow you to automate a lot of your operations, freeing you to focus on your business. You can try new business strategies with minimal risk quickly and see if it works. You will be able to work more efficiently and at a lower cost without having to be tied down to services that you don’t need.

For your small business to grow, you need to be able to scale quickly and at low cost. Cloud technology allows you to do that without the need to have an expensive in-house IT team or hardware. With cloud services, you can be more competitive against larger companies by being flexible, responsive and accessible.