Cloud computing has evolved from a nice convenience to an Internet buzzword and finally a mainstream solution that many smaller companies can’t do without. It has grown from a cutting-edge storage technology to a comprehensive business solution. But do you really need it?
What is Cloud Computing?
It can be defined as using a service provider’s network of remote servers over the Internet, rather than a local server or computer. While still widely used for storing and managing data, these remote servers can also provide access to hosted applications such as accounting, inventory, email management, and many other business functions.
How Cloud Computing Benefits Business
The ability to provide powerful business applications over the Internet is a great cost-savings solution. This is especially for smaller businesses that would otherwise have to deal with software licenses, maintain their own network hardware, and hirr a larger IT staff to support infrastructure. Most providers carry a variety of options that allow companies to pay only for the custom solutions that they need.
Why it can be Dangerous
Many clients signing up with a cloud services provider don’t bother to learn how their information is stored, what level of security is in place, or who might have access to it. Data sent over the Internet is at risk at both endpoints and in transit. Hackers can compromise systems leading to loss of service that discourages customers, or steal client and financial data that could spell ruin for a small business.
The Current State of the Cloud
What is cloud computing going forward? Virtual, software-defined data centers are becoming the norm as they afford better security and performance over traditional networks. Companies that have shifted to cloud resources include financial and healthcare institutions that must conform to government guidelines for protecting data. Other companies are establishing virtual environments for research, testing, and development. Encryption and decryption of data is becoming faster, allowing multiple levels of protection for sensitive information.
What to Look for in Cloud Computing for Business
- Security – Ideally, a cloud provider should offer services such as encryption, backup and disaster recovery, hacking insurance, and regular security audits, to name a few.
- Reliability- Focus on companies with good reputations, experience, and 24/7 tech support. Some will offer downtime credits if services fail. If you don’t find a provider trustworthy, keep looking.
- Adaptable – Can the provider fill a specific need, or do you have to rely on some sort of package deal? Is the interface they provide easy to learn and use? Do their services allow you to upgrade as your business grows? Choose a provider that can handle your changing business with minimal time and fuss.
- Cost – View your cloud services in terms of a return on investment. Is the cost justified by what it does to improve your business processes? Will it save time, money, and effort? Be sure you know upfront whether there may be any additional or hidden fees on top of setup and monthly rates.
If you’re ready to move all or part of your business to the cloud, call CTG Tech to discuss the possibilities that best fit your needs or register for a FREE consultation. We’ve been a top provider of cloud computing for business since 1982. Our experienced engineers can make moving to the cloud a seamless transition. You can focus on other goals while enjoying the peace of mind that top security and round the clock customer support deliver.