Most businesses will now be at least aware of the famous/infamous Cloud. Cloud technology or cloud computing, according to Wikipedia is “internet-based computing, where shared resources and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources“.
Wow! What does that actually mean though for the day to day running of technology in your small business?
Over the years I have been able to keep my own costs to a minimum through my experience and “geekiness” and Cloud technology has made this even more interesting. So why not take advantage of my knowledge and skills – I am passionate about and committed to helping ethical small and medium-sized businesses keep their technology costs to a minimum to turn that technology into clients to increase profits and improve processes to allow you to spend more time helping to make a better and fairer world.
Can your businesses take a DIY approach? Of course you can! But when looking at a new business technology strategy, make sure you take everything into account as, of course, there are other associated costs – research, planning, training, reskilling, migration, etc, etc. And remember, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur” (Red Adair)
The Cloud has developed thanks to the internet and world wide web to provide technology services which are managed remotely rather than on your own business servers and computers. The resources are shared to enable you, the “end user” to use shared processing power for software, applications, storage, backup etc. Sharing these resources means that the costs are shared and therefore reduced significantly.
These costs can actually be reduced to zero as the companies offering these Cloud Services use free offers to entice you to try the technology and then upgrade to paid services as a business grows or more functions are required.
However, by a carefully planned business technology strategy, many small businesses can actually operate with the free services – email, storage, backup, accounting, sales, ecommerce and customer relationship management – they can all be accessed for little or no cost.
It is important to realise that shared resources is nothing new in the computer world – it’s been around since “mainframe” computing took off in the late 70s/early 80s – but these “clouds” were internal to an organisation’s network infrastructure. Where today’s Cloud is different is that you do not have to be sitting in the organisation’s offices – you can be anywhere in the world. The Cloud however is still in fact made up of many Clouds – you can connect to the Microsoft Cloud, the Google Cloud, the Dropbox Cloud etc. And of course you are not limited to just one.