If you keep up with IT as it relates to small business at all, you’ve likely heard about the cloud. Cloud services are broad, but there are two main types that businesses should be concerned with.
Cloud services include software that is run from a remote server at a data center and file storage on a server that is accessed over the Internet. There are good reasons that small businesses should give serious consideration to switching over to cloud-based services.
Cloud software products allow businesses to utilize the same sophisticated programs that they are accustomed to, excepting that those programs don’t actually need to be installed on the local machines. Rather than installing, for example, Microsoft Office on a local machine, the cloud version only requires that the user logs into their services over the Internet and they are then able to access the program remotely.
There is no slowdown in service involved with this. With a high-speed Internet connection, cloud services run efficiently and very quickly. There are some significant advantages to utilizing services in the cloud rather than installing them on your hard drive as a local program that you may want to take into consideration.
If you have a software or a software suite that most of your employees utilize, you have probably already been through the process of upgrading and realize full well how time-consuming and expensive it is. When software is installed on a local machine, an IT professional has to go around to each one of those machines, apply the upgrades and ensure that they are working.
With cloud-based software, the software always upgrades to the newest version. The upgrades are handled by the people responsible for running the servers and your company never has to do any of the work involved in upgrading. Your local computers do not have to have programs added or removed to accommodate these upgrades, either.
The upgrades ensure that you always have the latest features and security enhancements from the manufacturer.
SaaS is a term that means software as a service. Software as a service can be priced out based on usage and many other models, allowing businesses to save money. It is also generally less expensive than purchasing software outright and having installed locally on machinery. This is yet another reason why you may want to consider the cloud.
It’s very easy to inadvertently violate the terms of a software license by installing it on too many machines or having too many copies running simultaneously. With cloud computing, your business doesn’t have to worry about this. With cloud services, you’re paying for the software that you use and, at the same time, you’re not responsible for maintaining the licensing for that software.
The convenience, streamlined nature and affordability of cloud software makes it something that deserves serious consideration for any small business. It can cut down on your IT costs without forcing you to compromise on the quality or type of software that your employees have access to.
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