Consider this, sophisticated software like sales force automation, ERP, and CRM tools come with a heavy price tag for development and maintenance sometimes several times the turnover of a small or medium enterprise. How then can the business process requirements of SMEs, be it enterprise planning or customer relationship management be met?
Thanks to Cloud computing, SMEs can access technologies that were once only available to large enterprises. Cloud computing has given a new lease of life to SMEs by offering technologies without the heavy upfront investments, security risks and high maintenance overheads. Cloud computing services have the option of a monthly payment, much the same way as household utilities. You can be up and running in the time it takes to enter your business and payment information - all at a fraction of the cost of buying or developing this software in-house.
What exactly is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is essentially delivery of computing resources, data storage and computing power over cloud. The essential characteristics of cloud computing are that it’s an on-demand, broad network access, measured service. Resource pooling allows the low costs and rapid elasticity It provides. There are three main types of cloud computing services –
- Cloud Software as a service (SaaS) - Cloud Service Provider (CSP) applications running on a Cloud infrastructure are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser.
- Cloud Platform as a service (PaaS) - The user develops on the Cloud infrastructure or acquires applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider.
- Cloud Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) - The CSP provide the user with storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications.
How can SMEs leverage Cloud computing?
Cloud computing offers four key favorable circumstances for SMEs –
Cloud computing lets you access data from any place and at whatever time giving additional time and push to be put on business techniques and solutions.
As illustrated in the above section, cloud computing provides up-to-date configurable computing resources ranging from networks, servers, storage, and applications to services that can be rapidly provisioned without putting excessive cost on the business.
Availability of boundless data storage from the cloud, which can be extended whenever needed and will only be billed as per usage, much like utilities.
Security & openness
Cloud provides sophisticated and elevated amounts of security convention that guarantee business and data assurance. Cloud has any of the four types of access: Public, Private, Hybrid, and Community, giving the data owner the level of security, he wants.
Is cloud computing for your Enterprise?
Cloud computing has the answer to numerous SME concerns – whether it is cost, adaptability or business dexterity. Cloud services give SMEs a level playing field to succeed in business while competing with players with deeper pockets and larger turnovers.
Equally important is understanding of the infrastructure, cost, and appropriateness of cloud to the needs and scenarios of a business problem. Hence it is important to have a cloud partner who has expertise in cloud computing. The right partner can evaluate readiness of the SME for Cloud Computing from a business perspective, deploy services and skill employees. This will allow you to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of Cloud Computing to your business strategy and what aspects can benefit your enterprise.