Cloud computing is a great concept in the internet world. It enables delivery of business processes, computing infrastructure, applications, personal collaborations and computing power as a service over the internet through a web browser.
You may have already used cloud computing if you have been part of basic internet activities like sending and receiving emails, searching for information online, or posting photos and videos online.
Simply put, your data is being stored on ‘the internet’ (or ‘cloud’) instead of on your computer and so it can be easily accessed from other computers that have access to those specific files.
A good example of this is if you have an account with Dropbox (and if you don’t, I encourage you to at least try out Dropbox).
This is a site where you can store a variety of files, all password protected within your account. You can access these files from any computer, as long as you can access the internet and log in to your account. You can also ‘share’ this files with other Dropbox user accounts if you choose to – e.g. co-workers, clients or family and friends.
Cloud computing is a revolutionary concept and can be of great help for small business owners by improving the productivity and efficiency of their workforce.
Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing for small businesses:
1. Cloud computing can be of huge benefit for small businesses that have employees working from different locations, from home or on the move. Similarly cloud computing also allows clients working from different sites to access important files and information.
2. It can often boost productivity and efficiency in the workforce. Team members can communicate faster with the use of cloud services which cuts down on the time required to discuss important matters during operations.
3. Cloud computing is easily scalable which enables companies to design storage space more effectively.
1. One of the main concerns for many business owners when using cloud computing is that of security. Many companies still prefer to store their important documents locally to keep their data safe.
Whenever you’re considering cloud computing options, make sure you ask about their security features to ensure that your sensitive documents and information is safe and cannot be easily accessed by potential hackers.
Also, have a clear policy in place to define what documents can/can’t be stored ‘in the cloud’.
2. Many cloud services will charge a recurring monthly fee. You may also need to pay for the bandwidth, depending on the amount of usage an account gets, which can be costly. You should do your research before purchasing cloud computing services so that you get the best deal to suit your specific requirements.
3. When using cloud computing services you may be dependent on the internet. If you have problems with your internet services it will affect productivity as important documents and data may not be able to be accessed.
Cloud computing is a brilliant invention of modern technology and has completely transformed some business’ use of technology and the way they work and communicate with their customers and team members.
If you’re not already using cloud technology at least in some way, I urge you to find out more about how these types of services may benefit your business.