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5 Things SMEs Need to Know About Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has the potential to help SMEs address significant technology challenges. Implementation of cloud services helps SMEs procure the latest technology without massive capital investment, enabling IT infrastructure to progress with market changes. Implementing cloud computing either in a public, private or hybrid cloud scenario will help SMEs save time and money, positively impact operational efficiency, productivity and security. Below are five positive things SMEs should know about cloud computing:

Cloud Computing

Models of Cloud Computing

Public Cloud

Private Cloud

Hybrid Cloud

Definition

The most common method of deploying cloud computing is the public cloud.

A third-party cloud service provider owns the cloud.

In public clouds, an enterprise will share the server with other enterprises.

In the case of private cloud only one enterprise uses the resources of the cloud server.

The private cloud server can be located at your enterprise’s onsite data centre or the third-party service provider’s location.

Hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds and onsite infrastructure.

In a hybrid cloud, business applications and data can move between private and public clouds for better flexibility and more deployment options.

Importance of Cloud to SMEs

  • Security: Enterprise grade security at cost effective prices
  • Affordable: Access to high-end software at a manageable monthly cost
  • Remote accessibility: Globally accessible
  • Scalability: Ability to scale based on business requirement
  • Reliability: Protect business from downtime
  • Security – Enterprise grade security at cost effective prices

    When considering cloud computing, security may at first be a big concern as SMEs would expect a higher security level when using its own servers. However, the truth is that many SMEs cannot afford or justify the overwhelming cost of enterprise grade security systems when they must purchase them for their onsite infrastructure. With cloud computing, the cloud provider has already made this investment, so you can tap in to as much of this technology as you want whilst paying a relatively modest cost in comparison.

    Affordable – Access to high-end software at a manageable monthly cost

    Migrating to the cloud provides SMEs with access to technologies which earlier were only available to large corporates with significant cash flow. High-end software like SFA (sales force automation), CRM (customer relationship management) along with the latest hardware is costly making it difficult for SMEs to afford. Most cloud computing services come with the option to lease these software services on a monthly payment basis without any lock-in periods or upfront fees. By moving to the cloud, SMEs can enjoy all the facilities at a fraction of the cost of developing the same technology infrastructure in-house.

    Remotely accessibility and Globally distributed

    Compared to large enterprises, SMEs are far more agile. Cloud-computing offers the autonomy to access business applications anytime, anywhere and on any smart device. Business owners and executives are often travelling and need to work on the go which makes cloud-computing the best option. For businesses who are geographically dispersed, cloud offer the flexibility of extending the corporate IT infrastructure to regional datacentres which brings a whole host of security, flexibility and contingency benefits.

    Scalability – Ability to scale based on business requirement

    A combination of competitive business environments and an unpredictable economy makes it critical for SMEs to remain flexible and adaptable, so they can react to market changes. Cloud computing offers SMEs the liberty to scale based on their requirement. SMEs can get the right amount of IT resources like increasing or decreasing compute power, storage and bandwidth based on raw demand – negating the need to overbuy in advance.

    Reliability – Protect business from downtime

    Cloud resources offer extensive capabilities for protecting SMEs’ from business disruption and loss through Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) systems. Not only can businesses rapidly recover to traditional server outages by spinning up another server, their entire infrastructure can fail over and be running within a datacentre in a completely different part of the world within a matter of minutes. Even better, it can be designed this way from the outset by being globally distributed and protected from these types of eventualities, creating a scenario where your business could conceivably never be down.

    Whether you are looking to migrate your email to Office 365, move your file storage and applications to the Cloud or become almost bullet-proof with your business continuity and geographical reach, we can help. We are specialists in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Office 365 and can create tailored Cloud infrastructure solutions for your business.

    To learn more about cloud computing, get in touch with an expert at m3 Networks.

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  • Lily says:

    This is a really informative post and it’s good to have all of the information in one place for SME owners. I think it’s particularly important that it has been made clear that security is also accounted for when it comes to cloud computing – like you said, many people assume that they will have to spend much more when really, doing it this way is a lot more cost-effective. However, I feel as though not many people are aware of this

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