Monday, November 16, 2015

Cloud Computing: Advantages for Small Businesses


The cloud continues to take the software industry by storm. A major component of the cloud is SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). New software providers host their products themselves and provide customers access through the Internet.

This model challenges the traditional on-premise method by which a provider installs and runs their software in your own data center. The convenience of low-cost, cloud-based infrastructure services has transformed many fundamentals of business, making it possible for IT to deliver some of the same capabilities to their internal and external customers.

For IT professionals, a stream of new cloud capabilities and innovative ideas to provide value to various audiences presents a lucrative opportunity.

Part of the cloud’s primary appeal is easy access and a pay-as-you-go pricing model that works as well inside an enterprise as it does outside in the general market.

This contrasts with the large upfront payments required for traditional software and can allow IT to provide more visibility into internal organizational consumption, regulate usage, and better control budgets and chargebacks.

Key cloud customer benefits 

  1. Fast time to value by using the software quickly, typically in minutes or a few days at most
  2. Low upfront cost due to no upfront license fees or server infrastructure
  3. Lower upfront cost of ownership (TCO) from a subscription-based payment model
  4. Accounting advantages from expensing software as an operating expense (OpEx) instead of an upfront capital expenditure
  5. “Try before you buy”, since it is easier for SaaS vendors to let prospective customers try the software before committing to a purchase
  6. Free software via SaaS provider’s freemium model, which allows users to delay payment for high functionality until there is actual need for it.
  7. Effortless upgrades, with SaaS vendors managing the upgrade process on their own platform; no customer effort is required.
  8. Mobility Users may access most SaaS services on smartphones and tablets