Cloud computing: A cost-effective technology solution
Cloud computing is quickly catching on with businesses across Canada as a cost-effective way to offload the burden of buying and maintaining information and communication technology (ICT).
Cloud computing lets your company use software or hardware owned by a third party, instead of purchasing and managing it yourself. Instead of buying new software and downloading it onto your computer, for example, you use the Internet to access the application on a third party’s servers.
That means employees, including a salesperson on the road, can access your company computer system from anywhere there’s web access. Simple and popular business software examples include Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365, services that allow you to work and collaborate from anywhere on files hosted on the software provider’s servers.
Save money and simplify your business
Best of all, the cloud computing provider takes care of all those nagging technology problems you don’t have the time or expertise to handle.
- The provider secures and backs up your data.
- Your systems don’t go offline because your software has crashed.
- You don’t need to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of upgrading a system—only to learn you bought the wrong one or it’s obsolete two years later.
- You don’t need to shell out big bucks for in-house IT personnel.
Cloud computing providers offer a growing list of services—everything from secure data storage to the latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and remote access to data.
And it can lead to huge cost savings for your business. As a rule of thumb, a company can save about 65% on an ERP system by implementing it through “the cloud” versus the usual route of buying the software and running it on your computers.
Maintenance—one of the main cost savings
Little wonder then that cloud computing was identified as “among the top technologies for both cost reductions and growth” for entrepreneurs in a BDC study.
One of the main cost savings is maintenance. Businesses often don’t budget enough for maintaining new systems and don’t have the expertise to handle the job in-house. As a result, many systems fail because of a lack of maintenance, discipline in process, training and retaining of users.
One of the main question marks is about hosting sensitive business data offsite. How secure will it be?
However, data tends to be more secure “in the cloud” because businesses often neglect computer security and data backup—two basic services that cloud computing offers.