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Simpler,Easier and a lot Less Expensive

Cloud Computing For Samll Business

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Whether you’re a Luddite–someone who hates technology, or a technophobe–one who fears it, undoubtedly you’ve heard of cloud computing. And if you are in either of the aforementioned categories, it might be time to kick the negative feelings
to the curb, scramble to the wagon, and hop on board. Experts agree that small businesses that embrace technology will fare far better than those who do not.

According to a poll of small business owners, 66% say they wouldn’t survive without wireless technology, and this is why: software/hardware costs, IT savings, and easy accessibility. And that’s just to name a few.

In a nutshell, cloud computing lets you store and access data and applications on the cloud (ie Internet) instead of having everything on your computer’s hard drive. All of your files, data and applications are stored in a virtual lockbox tucked neatly in the metaphorical cloud that you can reach from wherever you happen to be working–just make sure you’re on a secure network. So everything you do, from accounting to project management can be done remotely.

And if you become one of the 800,000 people who leave their laptop in an airport annually–all is not lost, because you’ll be able to retrieve everything you need from your cloud. That’s a silver lining right there.

Here are some things to think about when considering a move to the cloud:

Hardware: With the cloud, you pay a monthly fee to put your files on someone else’s server so you don’t have to invest in more as you grow. There are multiple free cloud options, up to a predetermined storage limit. Once you’re over the limit you can pay a monthly fee based upon how much storage you need. And other companies let you test them out before you purchase.

IT/Software Savings: With everything from files and applications stored on the cloud, there’s no need to license pricy software to any new machines in your office, or have an extensive in-house IT department.

Ease: Storing files on the cloud saves you time backing everything up, plus you’ll no longer have to email documents to your personal email address so you can work from home, or put files on a flash-drive that you inevitably leave on your work desk anyway. Everything you need to do your job, from anywhere with Internet access, can be accessed through the cloud.

But, the looming question remains–business owners always want to know about security. For now, if you have something that is top secret–say a baked bean recipe–keep it off of the cloud. Just like in nature, not all clouds are created equal–so do your due diligence, think about what it is you’ll be storing on the cloud, and see what works best for you and your business.

Some rules of thumb are to make sure the company you choose has a reputation for strong network security, they offer multiple level redundancy in the event a server fails, and they have servers in multiple geographic regions. Again, always do your research before you sign up with any cloud service provider, and always read the security and privacy fine print before you decide to come aboard the cloud bandwagon.