Head In The Clouds?

Where is the value in the cloud? 

The most important consideration when using computer systems for any part of your small business’ daily operations is ensuring that the data stored on your computer system is always available, and always protected. Without having a secure backup of your information, you could find yourself scrambling to solve problems in the event of any kind of computer failure. In the past, this problem has been solved through the use of dedicated networks with businesses having on-site hardware and dedicated IT personnel. However, the last few years have seen a movement towards cloud computing, which is changing the way that businesses use and store their information.

 What is Cloud Computing?
            It’s hard to avoid hearing references to cloud computing (or “the cloud”) but rarely do you hear a comprehensible explanation of what exactly the cloud is. Essentially, cloud computing is a way to offer network access and information storage on-demand to fit your technology needs, but with the servers located in an off-site location and managed independently from your business. In many businesses, a shift to cloud computing means that many of their business operations (such as email and document storage) are moved to cloud-based storage, where they can be easily accessed through any authorized device from any authorized location.
Why is Cloud Computing Suited to Small Businesses?
            While many consider cloud computing a solution best fit for either personal use or for big businesses with increased technological demands, it actually can make sense for small businesses as well. Cloud computing allows for the easy integration of information and software across devices, giving you seamless accessibility to the information you need when you need it.
            As well, the use of cloud storage offers business owners significant peace of mind when it comes to information security. It may be daunting to trust a cloud service with your information, but they are invested in protecting you and your information, and have a much greater technological capacity at their disposal in order to ensure that your information is constantly available and secure. Moving to a cloud computing service allows you to release many technology-related concerns surrounding maintenance, security, and upgrades.
 What Should You Be Aware of?

            One of the biggest benefits to cloud computing is that it offers you the ability to have a backup being constantly generated of all of your information, that is then stored off-site in the cloud. This backup could become indispensable if your local computer systems fail, or important documents are overwritten. Investing in a solution for your business’ data backup is key to ensuring the security and accessibility of your information.
            It is also of utmost importance that you regularly monitor your backup solution to ensure that it is functioning properly. Connect with your IT professional to discuss which cloud provider is the best choice for your business, how to effectively maintain a backup system for your data, and how to check up on your backup solution.
            Lastly, cloud services are generally offered to businesses on an on-demand scale. This means that through discussions with your IT professional you should be able to find a service provider that will be a cost-effective investment for you and your information storage needs. Best of all, this means that if your technological needs increase over time, you will not need to have any concerns about upgrading hardware – all you will need to do is increase the scale of your cloud storage through your cloud services provider. 

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