Cloud Computing: How does it affect my business?

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You’ve heard the term “cloud computing” used by news media, your friends, and online.  Now learn what it really means.

Cloud computing is a hot topic in the tech world. We’ve seen Microsoft’s tv commercials that say, “Yay Cloud!” and IBM’s commercials that say, “This is the power of cloud computing,” but what does it really mean? Simply stated, cloud computing is using internet based technology to deliver IT services you might have previously done onsite.

Pricing models

Examples include software as a service for your business applications, hosted email or spam filtering, online backup, and virtual servers-just to name a few. Most often these services are delivered in a pay as you go model.

Businesses no longer have to make capital expenditures for on premise hardware that has a lifecycle. They simply subscribe to the service and pay as they go, which often is more affordable on a monthly basis but can be more costly in the long run. While a benefit to some, other businesses prefer to buy and own their technology rather than make one more monthly overhead payment.

What to consider

Here are some key points when considering cloud services for your business:

  • Is it right for your business? Do you have any security or regulatory compliance issues to consider?
  • Does your business software that you use have a cloud version and if so what is the cost?
  • Are OpEx expenses easier for your business to handle than CapEx.
  • How will cloud solutions integrate into your business?
  • Do you need to do everything in the cloud or are there hybrid options?
  • How will your relationship change with your existing IT provider if you use cloud services?
  • If you have an internet outage and have no access to your cloud systems, can your business still function?

These are tough questions that business owners need to consider before purchasing cloud services. They may even need help from an IT professional to answer properly.