MonkeyPuzzle Computers: Ilminster, Somerset

The Intangible Benefits of Cloud Computing

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In a recent blog I re-iterated that Cloud Computing needs to be sold on the basis of it’s benefit to a business rather than the fact that it is a shiny new technology. For my own part I don’t consider this an issue - Cloud Computing has some very real and tangible benefits to offer SMEs in particular.

Cloud Computing for the majority of users will consist of Software-as-a-Service (or SaaS). To understand what this means, think of the more normal situation where you would use Software-as-Installed-on-your-Computer. In other words, rather than install applications on your computers running in your office and pay for the upkeep of those computers, you use web-based applications which are maintained in online data centres.

Such applications may include email, office applications, data backup and data sharing applications. These are the more tangible benefits of Cloud Computing.

I recently read a short article contained in the Microsoft Smart Business newsletter which dealt with 10 questions every business must ask about cloud computing. The article is available for download here in PDF format and I wish to highlight and expand one small section regarding the less obvious benefits of using the Cloud.

Intangible Benefits

Resilience. You are no longer dependant on office based hardware. As business applications can be accessed from any internet enabled PC - you can continue to work whilst on the move, at home or if your computer is stolen.

Reduced IT Costs. SaaS applications are run from hardware situated in large data centres. As such, the provider assumes all the maintenance and support costs associated with that hardware. You no longer have to spend so much on maintaning your own in-house equipment.

Security. Those very data centres are extremely secure and well-protected. Providers know there income depends on keeping your data safe and free from attack.

Flexibility. In general with Cloud based services, you pay for what you need and no more. Whilst that means scalability is built in and the services can expand as your business does, it also means if your business contracts, you can easily reduce your outgoings with regard to Cloud based services.

Access to New Services. Many services that where once in the realm of large companies with their own expensive IT infrastructure are now firmly within the grasp of smaller SMEs.

Easy upgrades. Generally, by opting for subscription based Cloud services, businesses will receive the latest upgrades and technology without having to implement these on their computers. Next time you log on, you will be accessing the latest version of services.

Cash Flow. Very important for any business, but particularly smaller SMEs. Cloud Computing usually works on subscription based, monthly payment without the need to invest heavily upfront. In addition, costs become operating expenditure rather than capital expenditure.

In summary, whilst Cloud Computing does offer the more obvious benefits of flexibility and scalability particularly, there are many other less obvious benefits which may offer more of an incentive to invest in the Cloud.

Added By: Phil Wright on 02nd May 2011 - 15:20
Last Updated: 02nd May 2011 - 15:31

Number of Views: 19302

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