In a world where use of mobile internet technologies is given, should SMEs be left behind? Obviously not. But given the rate at which technologies grow change, would it be feasible for SMEs to invest so heavily on those technologies? Does it make sense to invest on expensive software, hardware, human resources updates at a time when they are still finding their feet? Obviously no. The priority for any SME should be to generate revenues avoid investing in any infrastructure that will take away from their core activity. So how can SMEs keep pace if they don’t invest in such technologies? Simple. Outsource. Outsourcing activities that require one to invest in human resources huge infrastructure is the trend today. For example, how many SMEs can afford to set up their own email servers, hire engineers to run those servers maintain them? Alternatives are to hire services offered by companies like Google that offer a rather comprehensive package along with a Gmail account. Opening a Gmail account opens up windows to free calendar, online document storage, photographs, videos, websites, e-groups etc. For a payment, SMEs also get access to a host of other applications using which they can run their day-to-day affairs. Well, almost.
It comes in handy for other requirements like invoicing, tracking their projects, their stocks etc too. But SMEs refrain from adapting them owing to high costs.
Here is where cloud computing is of immense help. But what is cloud computing after all?
Cloud computing is a technology through which firms host their data or entire network to a third party, saving them the expense of buying and maintaining network infrastructure. The video should give you an idea of how it works.
So why should SMEs use cloud computing technology? There are multiple advantages of cloud computing.
Lower hardware IT costs
Instead of having to invest millions on hardware, software human resource to run them not to mention attendant costs like power etc, business simply purchase cloud computing (CC) services. The CC company, while offering the services that businesses need will also take care of maintenance etc.
Say you own a server your business gets featured on television or gets positive responses on Facebook. People will naturally want to visit your website. Chances are that your server may crash. However, with cloud computing, these capacities are added on so your website is available to users all the time. As a business you can also add or remove resources depending on the demand. For example, accounting, auditing tax-based applications work more during closure of financial year. These services can be given priority over other services.
Most CC companies offer a pay-as-you-use facility. That is, you only pay for the services you use. Imagine the savings!
Cloud computing companies normally offer software based solutions, or a set of applications or even hardware that you might require to run applications.
Some of the companies offering such services are: Safaricom, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Sugar CRM, Salesforce, MozyHome.
So, instead of worrying about infrastructure, human resources the costs involved, just use cloud computing.