Cloud Computing is Hot, but is it Right for Your Business
A flat economy, costly hardware upgrades and a reduction of IT resources is causing more and more businesses to migrate their computer operations from local servers to the cloud. What can cloud computing provide to your business and should you take the leap?
To start, it will allow you to focus on what you do best versus devoting resources to the management and maintainability of your computer hardware and software. In addition, cloud computing offers mobile access to vital customer information anytime and anywhere enabling remote sales and support personnel to be more proactive and productive in selling to and servicing customers.
Cloud computing traditionally refers to the utilization of hardware and software resources that are housed remotely and traditionally at a large data center. Data is accessed via an Internet connection and is accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Companies like Commence Corporation offer this capability as well as a hybrid cloud computing alternative whereby the software can be implemented on local computers while the server hardware, backup and recovery systems are managed by Commence engineers.
There are many advantages to cloud computing such as:
- the ability to quickly and cost efficiently scale the hardware and software for accelerated growth,
- paying a predictable flat fee for services,
- eliminating costly upgrades,
- and reducing the need for IT personnel to maintain the environment.
There are several disadvantages as well such as data migration, the potential for business disruption due to a new learning curve and concerns for data security and performance.
While the latter represent two of the more openly discussed reasons why businesses may not migrate to the cloud, there are some misconceptions here that should be pointed out. People often feel uncomfortable turning their confidential data over to a third party and believe that they are at a greater security risk, but the fact is you are better served putting your data in the hands of the people whose business it is to protect it. No data is completely secure, but the cloud services firms devote an enormous amount of money and resources to protect your data. They offer a secured environment that most businesses simply cannot afford and when it comes to performance, the cloud environment by design ensures that if there is a requirement for additional computing resources this can be addressed quickly and efficiently.
While you still may have some reservations for moving to cloud computing, the security of your data or concern for the performance of your system should no longer be one of them.
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