What Can the Cloud Do for You?

As a small business owner, I understand there’s a cringe factor when it’s time to purchase new technology. Sure, you need it and it’s a good productivity investment, but just as you get over the sticker shock, there’s something new and improved that you want to buy.

Technology lifecycles are shrinking, and they’re shrinking fast. According to Moore’s Law, processing speeds are doubling every two years. As the speed of technology growth continues to accelerate, it’s important for businesses to navigate obsolescence. Otherwise, either your technology will hinder your business’s efficiency, or you’ll pay a lot to keep the “latest and greatest” in the pipeline.

Luckily, cloud technology can help ease the dreaded pain of obsolescence.

How it works

The key to the cloud’s success in avoiding obsolescence lies where your data is processed. Rather than storing your data locally in an onsite server, your cloud provider hosts your data and you simply access it through the Internet. This means your provider carries the burden of equipment and service upgrades, giving your business unparalleled access to the all the data it needs to operate (without the thousands of dollars spent on infrastructure).

The cloud can help thwart the untimely deaths of your data processing technologies, unified communications systems and even IP telephony. If you are considering contracting with a cloud provider to keep tech costs low, here are four tips to consider:

1.)  Use what you have – To make using the cloud the most economically viable solution, don’t buy new hardware. You don’t need it. Your equipment’s basic hardware will be enough to support the cloud, because all it needs is a viable Internet connection. Keep in mind, ditching the investment in new hardware is where the bulk of your savings are made, so be kind to your older technology and make it last as long as possible.

2.)  Buy more bandwidth – That said, you should make sure your Internet connection is as fast and efficient as possible. Purchasing more bandwidth will give you the speed you need to operate your business through a cloud-based system.

3.)  Ask about fees – Since your cloud provider does carry the burden of equipment updates, find out how you might be charged over the years. Use this to help scout the right provider for your small business’s needs and ensure you’re not hit with any unexpected charges.

4.)  Consider your future – Remember that as your company grows, your cloud solutions and the network it supports must be ready to grow with you. By mapping out your growth strategy, you can best prepare for a long-term solution in the cloud.

Technology is running full-speed ahead, but rather than letting it run over your business, make it work for you. Adopting a cloud-based network will keep your business young, agile and ready for growth.

This article is from: http://www.smallbizdaily.com/16020/can-cloud/