Small Business are working in a very competitive environment wherein they have to compete with the large enterprises having access to the latest technology as well as the financial strength to invest upfront cost involved. Cloud computing technologies have narrowed the gap between small and big enterprises as far as technology access is concerned.
So what basically is cloud computing? Cloud computing essentially is convergence of the concept of Software as a service (SAAS) and Platform as a service where in the application and network used by the business is hosted by a third party servers and offered as a service. There is difference between managed services and cloud platforms as well. While managed services essentially involves both onsite and offsite components, cloud computing is offered as remote services only.
Clouds computing characteristics are:
• On-demand access: you can access the applications anytime from anywhere
• Broad network access: a form of sharing by multiple users
• Resource pooling: network resources works in parallel and scattered in various places for faster processing
• Fast deployment: Assets deployed at short notice
Small business gains from cloud hosting:
• Application hosting helps small business to reduce the IT infrastructure costs to manageable minimum, where in they have to pay only monthly costs to access the services.
• More time to focus on your business: with IT support being provided round the clock by third party ASP, the business can focus more on their core areas.
• Access Application on the go: With cloud hosting services all the IT infrastructure, in a sense moves with you. Example: By going for QuickBooks hosting, you can access the application from any place anytime.
• Security: due to centralization of data, security of data is more comprehensive and proactive.