Things small to mid-sized businesses should consider when looking at cloud solutions

Question: Why should businesses consider cloud solutions?

Answer: Today’s businesses are businesses on the move. Employees and clients from all over the world work together towards a common goal. Cloud computing is a way to make this arrangement work.

Question: Who is using cloud computing and why?

Answer: Cloud computing, or virtualization, is trending in businesses around the world, from mom-and-pop small businesses up to Fortune 500 companies. It provides a way for businesses to manage their computing resources online, creating a flexible and global way of accessing data any place, any time, and employees can store and share information with their colleagues and clients.

Question: Why should small and mid-sized businesses consider using cloud computing?

Answer: While this opens a huge door of opportunity for businesses with multiple offices or remote employees who aren’t linked by a single physical network, cloud computing has particular benefits for small and mid-sized businesses with smaller budgets. Choosing the right cloud applications and using them to their full potential can help a small business stay organized, reduce costs and grow.

Question: What are some of the benefits of cloud solutions?

Answer: According to a blog post on, cloud computing can help businesses reduce costs, keep their software updated, and choose the best applications for their needs. Unlike on-site hosting, cloud computing allows businesses to use applications online, which means that they can invest less in their own computers. This means lower hardware costs from more effective use of physical resources. At the same time, smaller businesses who don’t have their own 24/7 I.T. departments can still have up-to-date technology all the time, as a cloud provider will also be able to upgrade software keeping in mind feedback from previous software releases. Out of the software they do choose, businesses pay for only what they use. This allows flexibility for cloud users to experiment and choose the best option for their needs. It can also mean requiring less office space for employees. Because different organizations can share the same physical resources securely, leading to more efficient use of the shared resources, and because cloud computing can allow remotely located employees to access applications and work via the Internet, small businesses can save money on rent.

Question: What are the differences between a private cloud and a cloud computing service?

Answer: There are two types of clouds – private cloud and cloud computing services. This article on E-Science City states that private clouds are great if a business uses a lot of storage, but the major downside in private cloud development is the high price for both installation and maintenance.
Cloud computing services eliminate the start-up cost of server virtualization. The services usually charge a monthly fee for a finite amount of data storage. The higher your storage amount, the higher the fee. Critics of private clouds say the whole point of cloud computing is to share resources, costs and risks among multiple parties. Creating a private cloud, therefore, eliminates the benefits of cloud computing.

Question: What are some of the concerns that small and mid-sized businesses must consider when looking at a cloud solution?

Answer: When using cloud computing, small businesses need to be aware of security. If a business decides to go with cloud computing services, privacy needs to be a concern, as public clouds may be subject to security risks. One option is going with a virtual private cloud, which is more expensive than public cloud, but features added security, since they are divided into a separate user space on the public cloud. Dependency on an Internet connection is another issue, as is the ability to successfully integrate the cloud with existing on-premise systems, which may be difficult, or even impossible. Businesses must also consider whether its staff has enough experience to work with cloud financial models and licensing, as necessary training to bring employees up to speed can be expensive.

Sources: E-Science City,

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