The term ‘cloud computing’ can be a bit confusing for those not familiar with this way of storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. To make it easy “the cloud” is just a term for the internet. There are many different ways to utilize cloud based services and all have one big advantage: with an online connection, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime. As a company that helps our clients choose their Winter Park cloud computing solutions, we’d love to give an overview of the most common ways to use the cloud for small businesses.
Data storage and file sharing: You’ve probably heard of Google Drive and Dropbox. They’re two popular online data storage around today because they offer cloud computing space and file sharing that’s inexpensive and easy to use. You can take advantage of using this network of servers without having to worry about security patches, upgrades, and verifying that the systems are working. That’s all taken care of for you by the Google and Dropbox experts themselves. The only technology you need in-house to get started is a web browser. These services are extremely cost effective, easy to use, and are allowing many companies to keep their files safe, organized, and accessible.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Businesses subscribe to an application which is accessible over the internet where a specific application or service is offered to a customer as a subscription. Office 365, Salesforce.com, and QuickBooks are all examples of SaaS. Most small businesses will more than likely only need to use SaaS services. For these businesses, SaaS provides a way of delivering a host of software and technical services that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive and difficult to manage as on-premise, local solutions.
With cloud services, small businesses reap the benefits of not having to deploy physical infrastructure like file and e-mail servers, storage systems or shrink-wrapped software.
In fact, it can be said, that a lot of today’s small business technology needs can be fulfilled with cloud based products. All it needs it is a locally installed browser and desktop operating system, or even and increasingly a single mobile device.
Since there are a range of cloud computing services available, we analyze our clients’ needs and help them figure out which service will work best for them. We then help them to install and set up the program. Many clients are surprised to find out just how inexpensive and easy to use many of these cloud computing services can be.