by: Mark Delos Santos
Given how the cloud has become a buzzword in business and information technology (IT), it’s not surprising to see growing enthusiasm for the potential and power of cloud computing.
Various write-ups and studies from different experts around the IT world are saying that almost 50 percent of executive-level managers sees cloud computing as transformational to their business, while another 50 percent are having their IT staff investigate the potential benefits cloud computing could provide for their business.
But what really, is the cloud? The cloud in the world of IT is simply cloud computing. It is a term that evolved in the late 2000s, based on utility and consumption of computer resources.
Cloud computing involves deploying groups of remote servers and software networks. These allow different kinds of data sources be uploaded for real time processing, and to generate computing results without the need to store processed data on the cloud. Clouds can be classified as public, private or hybrid.
The cloud and your business. A large population of business owners and startups has not yet fully embraced the idea of adopting the cloud. Perhaps it’s high time that for those who actually need it be informed of the cloud’s benefits. For one, capital expenditure can be significantly decreased regardless of one’s business size – whether it’s a small to medium enterprise or a big corporation.
Information is what it’s all about, and important data and information are what every business needs. Using knowledge in your business is not just about coughing up clever new products and services, or devising ingenious new ways of selling them. It is also much like the simpler everyday things like:
- the experience of one’s employees
- the designs and processes for goods and services
- document files (digital, printed, or both)
- plans for future activities, such as ideas for new products and services
The challenge here is harnessing the knowledge in a coherent and productive way.
For the SMEs. A typical scenario in a small to medium enterprise would most likely be storing files in a central server located in the office. Unknown to some, it might be an unsecured location. More painful to see are the USB drives that serve as default storage for the most crucial files where the business breathes in and lives with.
If this is your information management plan, then you might want to consider these highly critical questions:
- Is my file storage secure and protected with back-up?
- Can I access my files anywhere, most especially when I travel?
- What’s the remedy should my storage crash?
One should worry less about these issues and act more on making one’s business successful.
Do the math. Now comes the million dollar question – how much will it cost? Long-term budgeting for technology can be both complicated and unpredictable. It’s all faster than it seems. Today’s budget may only be relevant for a few number of years. The smarter move nowadays has been the route to third-party service providers where risks are mitigated and costs are easily managed.
As one shifts from a capital expense to an operating expenditure, budgeting will become more predictable.
Utilizing cloud technology with a third party provider for any business type means sparing one from the required three- to five-year investment cycle for hardware that would most likely break at the most inopportune time.
So, should you move to the cloud? There’s no better way to see one’s business grow without having to second-guess the reliability of file storage and security.
Mark has spent a significant number of years in the IT industry. He's earned various certifications in IT at an advanced skill level. Mark holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering and a Master's Degree in Business Management.