Cloud Computing is a business model where services are delivered from the Internet through web-based applications and tools, rather than from a server via direct connection. These services include software and programs, as well as data and information. This kind of technology offer benefits and uses suitable for businesses, especially for small businesses with tight or limited resources.
The Evolution of Cloud Computing for business development
Cloud computing enables businesses to take advantage of business services at a lower cost more than traditional computing technologies. Software packages are available at lower prices because the software developers also incur lower costs in distributing them. Online distribution removes costs related to production of DVDs or CDs, packaging costs, as well as costs of shipping and distribution worldwide. Other cloud-based services that enable businesses to save money include managed hosting, server maintenance, and software licensing.
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Cloud-based services enable businesses to maintain remote employees instead of in-office employees. This setup enables businesses to save capital spent on office space, as well as overhead costs. Cloud computing enables businesses to communicate with employees in a more efficient way – for example, the employees need not be in front of their office computer all the time, as they can communicate with the office through any electronic device. Programs necessary for any task can be launched from the cloud, from anywhere in the world, as long as there is an Internet connection. This also allows businesses to function at all times, instead of just maintaining strict operating hours, without an increase in costs. Communication between employees is likewise easier with cloud-based applications providing messaging, calling, and video-conferencing functions. Collaboration is likewise improved with the introduction of cloud-based programs that enable users to log in and view a specific document or presentation in real time, without need to attach and download the same via email.
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There are three areas where cloud computing is mostly used in businesses: messaging, storage, and office or productivity suites. According to a Forbes study, these services occupy more than 50% of the kinds of services migrated to cloud computing by most businesses. Of all services migrated to cloud-based services, messaging apps take the majority of the pie at 18%, while cloud storage apps rank second at 15%, and office suites at 13%. Some cloud-based messaging apps include Iron.io, Google Cloud Messaging, and etherSMS. Cloud-based storage apps include Dropbox, Google Cloud, and OneDrive. Cloud-based productivity apps include Office 365, Google Docs, and Zoho Docs.
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Security and reliability
Utilizing cloud-based applications provide an unexpected benefit in the form of security. Online storage facilities enable users to keep extra copies or backups of important business files. Online storage drives also provide a more secure option, safer from viruses and malwares. Some providers also provide geo-redundant storage options, storing your files in separate locations, for a more secure option. Cloud-based services also offer greater reliability in terms of a dedicated IT support system, compared to a small business’ own IT department, which may be composed of only a handful of people. Added reliance to cloud-based services also frees up manpower demand in the business, resulting in lower salary costs, office space, and overhead costs.