Web-based service on demand that’s cheap, scalable and reliable: what’s not to like?
Cloud services make effective mobile working possible. Communication is quick and hassle-free: no matter where you are, once you can access the internet you can access your files. Offering everything from data storage, spreadsheets and word processing, to presentations, conferencing and hosting, the cloud does everything an office, an office server and an office computer can do. On the go.
Businesses opt for the cloud to facilitate flexible working: so if you are a business spread across a number of physical locations and you need access to given services that can’t be locked down to a single server in your office, cloud is for you.
There are lots of other advantages of the cloud, as well.
As a start-up, you’re unlikely to have a lot of cash to spare. Cloud services, which require no upfront investment and are generally provided on a pay on demand model, are ideal.
As Nick Mann from New Media Agency says, cloud computing is much cheaper than traditional dedicated servers bought and hosted by the companies utilising the resource. He explains: “Cloud computing costs are purchased on a “pay as you go” basis. Basically, that means large capital, hosting and support costs are obviated.”
It’s quickly set up, too, which means a speedy ROI. As Tristan Rogers, MD of software providers Concrete says, the advantage of cloud is no delay in getting the benefit of the service. “It’s all ready-made and ready to go,” he explains. “And it’s already proven.”
The cloud is also tremendously scalable, and you can broaden your range of services and increase your usage as you grow. Matthew Hampton of IT security firm Imerja believes cloud’s service on demand structure is particularly suited to start-ups. He says: “You can start off small and not worry if you suddenly move from having 1,000 users a week to having 10,000.”
But Chris Coulter, partner at legal firm Morrison & Foerster strikes a cautious note, advising business owners to consider what they’re paying for and what they’re getting in return for their money: “Consider what information you are handing over,” he says. “You have to treat it like any other business transaction. If the services provided by the cloud are going to be an integral part of the business, then it should be treated with great seriousness.”
But if you have considered these issues and are still convinced of the benefits, why not build your business empire on the cloud.