3 Ways Cloud Technology Is Leveling The Playing Field For SMEs
Cloud technology seems to be everywhere these days, from mobile phone apps to data storage. With more and more businesses jumping into the cloud bandwagon, seems like cloud computing is the future. After all, by migrating most of your business process online, you eliminate costs, errors, and delays. Today, we take a look at how cloud technology is rapidly changing the landscape for SME”s, and how you can use it on your business.
Introduced in the early 1990’s, cloud storage is fast becoming the choice for individuals and businesses for its affordability, reliability, and scalability. Cloud storage is now a staple among virtual offices and SME”s all over the world.
The principle behind cloud storage is fairly simple: instead of storing your files on your hard drive, you upload your files to the cloud where the data is physically stored in multiple servers across the globe. This way, you are free to access your files over the Internet.
- Low cost Cloud storage costs way less than maintaining local storage devices. For one, there”s no need to buy additional hardware every time your business runs short on storage. Take Google”s Cloud Platform for example. This service allows users to utilize the same infrastructure used by one of the most successful Internet giants ever. The good part is, Google lets users store as much files as they want for a very reasonable price. Companies such as Box and Sugarsync even offer limited free storage to personal users.
- Widely Accessible Unlike regular local storage, files stored in the cloud can be accessed from any computer or smart mobile device, from anywhere in the world. This makes integration much easier for businesses operating from multiple offices. For example, your employees from New York will be able to access the same files that someone from your office in San Diego has uploaded.
Cloud Operating Systems
An operating system is basically the software that manages everything that happens on your computer – from fan speed, to screen brightness. Among the most popular are Windows line of OS and Mac OS. Conventional operating systems cost plenty of money, especially when you have to pay for the license for every single computer in your office. Cloud OS changes all that.
Cloud operating systems can run smoothly on less powerful notebooks and computers because it loads very few programs during start-up. Everything else – word processors, spreadsheets, and other tools are accessed online – many of which are also free.
Leading the race is the Google Chrome OS – an open-source cloud operating system that has already garnered a huge following, and has spurred an online community of developers, programmers, and designers. Jolicloud is also a great choice for businesses looking for an alternative to expensive operating systems.
- Virus And Malware Cloud operating systems are not as vulnerable to virus and malware as compared to regular office computers. There”s not much to infect in a computer or notebook that runs on cloud OS.
- Updates A cloud OS is updated automatically, so you are sure that your running on the latest version, and because everything is in the cloud, even your apps are automatically updated
- Scalable You are not bound by your storage device because all the storage you need is in the cloud. You can upload as little or as much data as you like. Cloud storage gives you unlimited amount of storage.
Much like with a conventional PBX or private branch exchange, cloud PBX also allows users to contact anyone within the system without having to go through an external phone line. Users can be accessed by individual extension numbers instead. However, cloud PBX services such as the one offered by companies like RingCentral do not cost as much as conventional private branch exchange systems. The only hardware that you”ll pretty much need is an IP phone, and unlike with traditional PBX, the users don”t need to be in the same building, making it a great for virtual offices.
- Cost Effective There are no installations of expensive hardware, so there”s no need to hire an IT technician to configure the system. Most plans already come with an Internet phone that”s ready to use.
- Flexible A cloud PBX can accommodate the growing size of any business, and because the infrastructure is online, business owners can add as many phone extensions as they want.