Afraid of the cloud? Here’s what you’re missing out on » SMEInsider

Afraid of the cloud? Here’s what you’re missing out on

The cloud is an instrumental tool that helps organisations access their information from anywhere in the world. So why do only half of the UK’s small businesses use it?

The cloud computing market is set to gain a whopping $121.1 billion this year. If you still have any doubts about using the service, here is why you should change your mind:

1. The cloud is cheap.

SMEs are always trying to lower their budget and cut costs wherever they can. Businesses try to stay ahead of the game and buy custom made software that stores their information, but is also ridiculously expensive. You can pay for the cloud via a subscription service which allows you to manage your finances better.

2. Working together.

The cloud offers a huge range of options that allow you and your co-workers to connect, regardless of your company’s size. The cloud contains services such as file sharing and internal messaging systems to maximise communication. You can also customize how you share your company’s news feed to your liking.

3. Ease of use.

More and more SMEs want to promote flexible working and location independence. The cloud allows you and your team to work remote from home or anywhere else in the world. By integrating your business with the cloud you and your co-workers can view and edit the same information at the same time.

Now you know some of the benefits of connecting to the cloud, you may be wondering what type of cloud model you can use. There are three types types:

1. Public cloud

The public cloud is probably the most popular form of cloud service for SMEs, especially if you are on a tight budget, but still need the latest technology. The public cloud is built on an external platform which is run by a cloud service provider. Examples of these are Amazon EC2, IBM’s blue cloud, Google App Engine and Windows Azure Services Platform.

2. Private cloud

The private cloud is a cloud platform that is built within your own corporate firewall on your own hardware and software. This is really beneficial for SMEs who are worried about cyber hacking. The private cloud is more expensive than the public one, as you would most likely need your own IT team to operate it, but that means you have more flexibility and control over your documents.

3. Hybrid Cloud

You guessed it; the Hybrid cloud is a mixture of public and private cloud and is mainly used by larger corporations who can afford an IT team. The employees would then manage part of the cloud together, then would be able to manage the other part from home.