KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Apr 14 2010

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Moving your business to the Cloud

Cloud computing has become a technology buzzword. Its definition is elusive, but a working definition could be: A service offered by vendors with large computer server networks to provide infrastructure such as processing capacity, storage for electronic data and records, software as a service (SaaS) or provision of services such as e-mail.

This is not only a lot nimbler, it’s also much less expensive to set up, maintain and update. For one thing, you’re off the hook for pricey licensing. Instead, you subscribe monthly to software services that are hosted and administered by somebody else—paying only for features you actually use. It also negates the need to download or install dedicated software on your own computer, freeing up onboard memory and reducing energy costs.

Image via infreemation.net

Image via infreemation.net

If you have a Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! account, you are already computing in the Cloud. Cloud computing bypasses your company’s server and enables you to pay for computing resources as you need them.

According to a recent Cisco survey, only 20 percent of small businesses know what “cloud services” are, even though 75 percent of small businesses polled are already using some kind of hosted or subscription-based service to enhance their business goals.

The most widely used SaaS solution small businesses turn to is security-driven applications like antivirus. Storage and backup applications come in a close second, with desktop publishing applications pushing third.

A major issue with the Cloud at present is security. However, it need not be a big concern, if you just apply the same common sense you would to sending sensitive data through e-mail and employ strong passwords.

The fastest-growing of the cloud service segments are services based on collaboration and conferencing, SaaS. In my next post, I will review some top programs for private sharing and real-time collaboration.—Ann Porter

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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