Everyone has heard about Cloud computing yet so few business owners are adopting this brilliant advance in technology. Put simply cloud computing is where all your programs, documents and files are held on the internet rather than on your own hard drive or server.
Before going into the practical application let’s understand why you should make the jump to the dark side. The two main reasons supporting cloud computing are cost savings and productivity. Remember that $45,000 you spent on a server for your office IT system but it seems to crawl rather than run. Well online data storage costs as little as $5 per month for up to 50 gigabytes. Even if you were in business for 50 years, it still would be dramatically cheaper to run online servers rather than physical servers.
Secondly is productivity. Because the suppliers such as Google, of web based IT solutions invest far more money and resources in running smooth and fast operating systems, no more will you have to deal with sluggish intermediate servers. The other added benefit is that your business becomes linked together through an online network rather than cables and wires. It allows you and your staff to work from anywhere at anytime as long as they can access the internet.
The other major benefit of cloud based computing is security. Sounds strange right putting everything on the net for people to steal. Well not really. Who do you think has better systems to protect your information? Google or your PC. They’re both connected to the net so they both have the same risks. It’s just one is better. Not too mention that if you drop your laptop or your hard drive fries itself you won’t loose your data if it’s online.
So let’s look into the practical applications. First and foremost there’s Google Apps for business. Google Apps for business can dramatically increase the productivity of a business and dramatically reduce the IT costs all in one system. For $5 per month per user, you have a complete business system. Email, calendar, document storage, a full suite of word and excel type programs, in fact you can pretty much run everything you need from here. It even links to online bookkeeping like Xero.com. Other benefits of cloud computing is your ability to keep up with upgrades with little or no cost. Every time the technology improves in a web based program you receive the immediate benefit rather than having to pay for an upgrade to your physical system
The key to all of this online stuff is that it links and syncs to one another. So for example your iPhone or other smart phone. Programs also link to one another. So you could be using Mail Chimp as your email marketing system. By being a user of Google Apps, you can automatically sync contacts to Mail Chimp and manage the program through a tab in Google.
With so many options in the market for cloud based computing where should you start? Well first and fore mostly seek advice from another business owner who already runs a cloud based system. They don’t benefit from helping you therefore are less likely to sell you products you don’t need. Go to your local IT company and they’ll give you 100 reasons why not to go to the cloud. The reason for this is that cloud computing is the beginning of the end of allot of small IT companies.
Speak to someone who runs Google Apps, learn how they use it or other similar programs (I won’t lie, you’re basically going to have to use Google Apps, there isn’t anything else). Map out how you can migrate from what you currently operate to a cloud solution. In Gmail’s case. It helps you transfer your data from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail in an easy step by step process.
If you struggle to find anyone to help you with this give us a call and we’ll happily show you how our business runs in the cloud.
Running your business in the cloud is the way of the future. It’s giving many small businesses all over the world capabilities they never thought they could have or afford. Save money, increase productivity and tighten security.