By Emily Miller
Cloud computing — the concept sounds overwhelming and a bit technical, for those who are not aware. If you are an entrepreneur, you may think that you don’t need technical solutions, such as cloud computing, to get your business off the ground and help it run its best. However, you are probably already using certain cloud computing functions without realizing it. You can make your life easier — and actually reduce your need to learn about technical functions — by embracing cloud computing for your new business.
Cloud computing essentially refers to any computer function hosted away from your computer or your privately-owned computer infrastructure. Hardware, software, object storage, services and interface can all occur within the cloud.
If you use services like Facebook, Gmail, Google Docs or even play an online game like World of Warcraft, you are utilizing the cloud in its simplest form.
Benefits of cloud computing.
There are a number of reasons why entrepreneurs should look into cloud computing solutions for many aspects of their business. A few of these include:
- There is nearly no technical knowledge necessary.
- The cloud service handles tech support and will often walk you through setup.
- Cloud services are scalable, allowing you to pay only for the space and services you need.
- Since certain resources are shared, you can save money when compared to running a stand-alone server. An infographic by Chargify shows that over three years many businesses save around 30 percent — with a much lower upfront cost.
- Most cloud providers embrace new technology, helping you remain up-to-date.
- Services are mobile, meaning you can access your company’s data and cloud-based software systems from the office, a home computer and even a tablet.
While the services mentioned above (Facebook, Google Docs) are some of the most common ways the cloud is utilized, even by individuals, businesses are taking advantage of a number of new ways to use this technology. For instance, big data management is huge. Big data is the means by which marketing professionals and even small business owners collect and utilize information collected from their customers. Services that make mobility even easier are another trend that will only continue to grow. More and more entrepreneurs are working at home and on the run using netbooks, tablets and even smartphones, so services geared towards making this easier are becoming very popular.
Now that you see why cloud computing is so useful and an important part of technology and business today, perhaps it is time to consider the use of some of these services for your new startup. All of the benefits are that much more important for an entrepreneur who may be short on funding and not have an IT team at his or her disposal. The survey from the above mentioned Chargify infographic shows that around 62 percent of businesses don’t use the cloud and have no plan to do so in the near future. After you further investigate the benefits, you will see why you should make an effort to avoid becoming part of this number. Cloud services are easier to use than ever before and if you choose the right company, you can get started just as easily as logging onto a social networking website.
[Image credit: samuiblue on Freedigitalphotos.net]
Emily Miller is a marketing professional and small business blogger who contributes regularly to Professional Intern. Her educational background is in Marketing and Small Business Management, and she is especially fascinated by how technology can be used as solutions for startups and small companies.