Cloud Computing for Small Business

Small to medium-sized business who have limited capital investments, limited space, and limited or no technical staff can usually benefit financially from using cloud computing tolls and technologies. It will reduce the amount of hardware and software needed, and is often technically easier to install and maintain than in-house software applications.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a technology which essentially allows vendor companies to deliver their services to users which could include storage, servers, and applications over the Internet. The maintenance, upgrades, cybersecurity and backup processes are all handled by the company selling cloud computing services.toronto-best-cloud-software-solution

Essentially, cloud computing enables computer software and hardware resources to be accessed over the Internet without the need to have any detailed or specific knowledge of the infrastructure used to deliver the resources, much like a utility model. You really don’t need to know what the phone company or electric company does on their end to enable calls and allow the lights to go on when you flip the switch; and, you really don’t want to know as long as when you plug into it, it works.

Cloud computing is generally considered as green IT because it tends to decrease the amount of IT infrastructure and introduces shared computing power which are concentrated in high efficiency data centers around the world.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are many levels and layers within the cloud computing model,  however the three main levels are Software as a Service,Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the top level of the cloud where software applications and/or data are hosted and run on the provider’s premises.  The cost is usually in the form of subscription rather than an upfront license fee. The cloud provider is responsible for availability (server side), functionality, integrity, operation, and maintenance of system.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the foundation or bottom layer of cloud computing, and includes services like storage, backup, disaster recovery, databases, and security.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a service (PaaS) is the next level of the cloud. It is most often used for organizations that are developing or modifying their own software applications. PaaS supports software development processes, including prototyping, developing, testing, deploying, and hosting.

Small business with limited or no infrastructure are usually great candidates for cloud computing whereas the medium to large businesses could also benefit significantly from a move to the cloud, however more thought must be given to analyzing the costs of the cloud compared to current infrastructure, and the cost to migration and maintenance.  Most small businesses probably would use the Software as a Service model and subscribe to one or applications.

Should we migrate our company to Cloud?

Migrating to cloud computing platforms should be carefully planned and executed, not every technical function should be migrated to the cloud and contingency plans should be devised, implemented and maintained. As with any new technology, there are always hard questions to ask and there are no easy answers.  In every organization and each case there is a trade-offs and weighing the risks and benefits for each approach.

While the concept of cloud computing may be scary for some, you may be relieved  when you realize that you’re already likely using some cloud services at your business or home. services like Google’s Gmail or Yahoo mail, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 and other Microsoft Live services are examples of cloud computing.

cloud-solution-for-toronto-non-profit-agencyHere are a quick summary of the benefits and draw-backs of the could computing for small businesses in Toronto;

Benefits of Cloud Computing

      • Capital expenditure: the initial and upfront IT infrastructure and deployment costs are usually small compared to traditional model , however  the recurring operational cost for the small business may be higher than the traditional approach.
      • IT staff : In many cases the need for highly trained technical staff is not required or is much less than the in-house IT model because the cloud platform provider takes care of installs, upgrades, backups and standard maintenance.
      • Computers: The office computers need not to be as powerful and therefore are cheaper since all the data processing is performed on the server side.
      • Deployment: Often, accounts can be set up in hours however depending on the application the staff’s learning curve might be high.
      • Convenience: Employees and sub-contractors can access the applications from almost anywhere.

Drawbacks of Cloud Computing

      • Availability, loss of connectivity or unreliable connection means loss of access to the software, infrastructure, and data, and consequently loss of business, specially this may not be right for  mission-critical needs.
      • Hosting Provider or the company providing cloud services must be reputable and provide an acceptable service level and  up-time policy as well as provide rapid response to support requests.
      • Compliance need for regulatory bodies such as HIPAA or PCI-compliant, etc. must be investigated as not all cloud computing providers are certified.
      • Backups and fail-over strategies are essential to be devised and investigated with the hosting providers.
      • Security is a major concern within cloud computing context and there are variety of concerns on storing sensitive business and client data in the cloud, specially due to privacy and security standards

How we can help?

Dynathrone’s team of engineers will help you to answer the following questions every small business owners  are asking:

  • Is the cloud computing right for my business?
  • Is the cloud computing secure?
  • What are the risks associated with cloud commuting?
  • Will the cloud computing cost more or less than what I currently have?
  • Can I get my data out of cloud ?


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