02 February, 2011   Share/Save/Bookmark
What is Cloud Computing?

The technology of computers is advancing at an astonishing rate. Businesses large and small find it necessary to update their computer systems every 4 to 6 years due to wear and tear and to stay current with the latest technological advances. These are just some of the issues allowing the Cloud to gain in popularity. Basically Cloud Computing is enabling businesses to access their software applications from a centralized data center simply by connecting to the internet.

Cloud computing is said to be the biggest paradigm shift in the past 20 years. Leaders of the technology industry are calling it a “game changer”. These statements highlight the incredible rate of advancements we’ve seen in the world of computers. Keeping up with these changes is a necessity for the success of most any business today. As a consumer, you may just be hearing about computing in “the cloud”. It’s only been recently that we’ve been seeing commercials on television introducing the Cloud to the public.

The beginnings of Cloud Computing can be traced back to the concept of “software as a service” which started to circulate in 2001. The acronym SaaS was coined in 2005 and gained popularity as an economical alternative to expensive software applications operating on business computer systems or servers. The development of broadband connectivity has enabled Cloud Computing to be more accessible anywhere there is an internet connection. In today’s increasingly mobile world, business owners and workers can have convenient access to software programs and corporate data not only in the office, but in airports, restaurants, coffee houses and even in the comfort of their own home or on vacation in a foreign country.

There are great advantages of computing in the Cloud to consider. This gives the business owner many benefits to enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.

• Secure automatic backup: Enjoy never having to back up your files. The statistics show that less than 75% of all small businesses are not backing up adequately. The cloud computing model allows for your data to be encrypted and instantly stored in world class data centers using the latest technology available. This will insure the safety of your data and the ability of recovery from a secure data storage facility. This is a fully automated system and far superior to anything your average small business would be able to consider for secure backup storage.

• Remote accessibility: Remote accessibility is a convenience and a great advantage for a business any size. An owner, manager or employee can access the company’s company file system and software programs to work from anywhere. All that’s needed is an internet connection and a device like a laptop, iPad or smart phone to access the web. Being able to add multiple locations for businesses is a huge advantage for corporations needing to expand in a way that is affordable and smart. Just imagine eliminating the expense of investing in IT hardware and the time to set it up. These revenues can be used to grow the business. For a new small business just starting out, this could be the difference between making it and breaking the bank. For a larger corporation it could open up the door for global accessibility.

• Cost efficiency: With the Cloud, your IT cost will now be a predictable low monthly affordable rate. These expenses become an operational expense versus a capital expenditure. You will no longer need to own the equipment being used, eliminating the cost of owning servers or expensive computer hardware which needs to be updated and / or replaced every few years on a vicious cycle. Also enjoy the convenience of eliminating software installations and automatic upgrades. It also eliminates the cost of paying for your IT support team! Your only investment will be your monthly subscription, an internet connection and a device to access that connection.

• Hardware longevity: The recommended usage of computer components and servers in the business world is 4 to 5 years and then replacements with updates are needed. Since you are not storing the information on your computer or using your machine to run your software programs, you are able to operate your computers much longer. In many cases this can double the life of your average PC and gives you the freedom to focus on your business.

• Computer power: Many software programs have a list of minimum requirements needed to operate their programs. This could be processing power or special equipment. Some software programs only operate in a particular environment like Windows or MAC. Cloud computing levels the playing field. The host provider is running your applications so you only need to access the internet. This eliminates the need for your software to operate on any particular platform or a server that may cost anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000!

What should you look for? Not all cloud providers are alike. Most are very limited in what services they are able to provide. Ideally, for maximum ease and efficiency, one should have access to all of the programs needed to run the entire business. This will allow for seamless integration between all programs. Most businesses require a CRM (customer relationship manager) or a particular business application and a program for accounting, word processing, data spreadsheets, etc… You will want to be able to connect your entire business via the cloud.

Who should you choose to partner with? VOStm (Virtual Office Systems) has been providing cloud solutions for the past 9 years, and has customers accessing their business from 8 different countries as far as China. VOStm has focused on the needs of small and mid-sized companies, allowing them to operate with greater efficiency and more profitability.

Now is the time to consider operating your business from the cloud. Contact a VOStm representative to analyze your needs with an easy and quick business evaluation. Get VOStm to host your entire business and start to invest in your future. To be successful you need to be informed and know your options. A FREE business evaluation will give you all the information you need to make the right decision for your business.

Milo Mannino

VOS (Virtual Office Systems)


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Category: Small Business Technology Strategy

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