What SMBs Should Expect From a Cloud Service

By Jerry Olsen
Updated: September 29, 2011

What SMBs Should Expect From a Cloud Service

With the advent of cloud computing, there’s been a lot of discussion, research, analysis, and advertising hype about how the “cloud” affects SMBs (small-to-medium sized businesses), and how these businesses can benefit from this fairly new technology.
Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet.

Although cloud computing has been around for nearly a decade, very few people understand how it works. The truth of the matter, though, is that cloud computing is something we all use every day without realizing it. Cloud computing is a very general term that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. So, each time you use your laptop computer, phone, Playstation 2, PDA, or other Internet device, you are using cloud computing in one form or another.

More recently, cloud technology has expanded into remote services that provide SMBs with a wide range of functions such as email, voicemail, data storage, Voice over Internet Protocol, and other forms of communication. Today, SMBs and IT managers are seriously considering cloud-based technology in order to meet their communication requirements. With such a wide variety of vendors cloud offerings available in the market, it’s difficult to decide which one works best for your particular organization.

As a decision maker, you are faced with the task of figuring out what the cloud computing can improve your business and boost your bottom line. The following four different ways businesses can benefit from cloud services.

Lower Costs

With cloud technology, SMBs can not only reduce the direct costs associated with providing email or other IT-related services, but they can also reduce real estate costs, taxes, and other costs of doing business.

Manage IT Resources More Effectively

Instead of managing a disparate set of services—each with its own set of applications and functions—you can manage these services from a single computer console.

Use IT for More Challenging Work

The cloud helps eliminate the more tedious tasks for IT staff, that don’t represent their core competencies, giving them the ability to focus on the tasks that create greater value for your company.

Provide More Flexibility

Cloud technology gives your employees the freedom to work remotely. It also provides Information Technology resources on a more granular (or smaller) level, giving your staff the ability to react more quickly to changing business conditions.

Whether you run a small, medium, or large business, there are several key issues to consider when moving to a cloud-based system. From a business perspective, however, cloud computing is designed to help your business function more efficiently by improving your business processes, and saving you time and money.

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