Strategies for small businesses implementing cloud computing solutions
While moving to cloud computing solutions, small business organizations can choose different styles of implementation and different kinds of services. You can mix and match the services to serve your needs.
How do you want to deploy your cloud solution?
You have decided to take advantage of cloud computing. Now, you have to decide how you want to implement it. You can choose a private cloud, public cloud, or a hybrid cloud deployment.
- Would you feel more comfortable with a private cloud?
- In a private cloud deployment, you will have more control over the resources, but the investment will be more.
- The resources, such as servers and data centers, can be on-premise or can be in a dedicated network from a cloud service provider.
- You can customize it as per your precise requirements.
- You do not share any of the resources in your private cloud with other organizations.
- You will have to take more responsibilities in administration and maintenance of these dedicated resources.
The private cloud is a better choice for:
- Organizations whose data and operations are highly sensitive, like government departments.
- Companies or small businesses who already have an existing infrastructure of cloud computing resources like on-site servers, networks, data centers, etc.
- Should you choose a public cloud for optimal savings?
The public cloud provides all the resources through an off-site infrastructure. The cloud provider takes care of providing you access to servers, data centers, software, storage, etc.:
- Your investment in hardware and software will be minimal.
- The resources such as servers, network, etc. will be shared by many organizations.
- Security, maintenance, management, etc. are taken care of by the cloud service provider.
- You can scale as you grow.
- You pay for the services you need, and you will be billed according to usage, like utility bills.
- Should you transition slowly through a hybrid cloud?
- A hybrid cloud is implemented as a combination of a private and public cloud. Leverage your existing network of resources. For growing needs, you can use the resources offered by a public cloud:
- Your sensitive data and operations like internal business data, financial reporting, etc. can be processed through your private cloud.
- Other operations like marketing, customer relationships, etc. can be implemented over the public cloud.
- You can scale easily with a hybrid cloud.
- Take advantage of cloud bursting, which is when your private cloud-based operations burst through to the public cloud during periods of peak demand
- You can transition gradually to the public cloud.
What are the types of cloud service?
With cloud computing solutions, small business firms can find different services to fulfil different needs. You need various resources for your business, like infrastructure, software, development platforms, storage, databases, etc. You can chose to subscribe to different types of cloud services as you need.
- Do you need better infrastructure?
- Your business needs a basic infrastructure of servers, networks, databases, storage spaces, and more.
- Due to budget constraints, small businesses cannot make huge investments in cloud computing solutions or IT to take full advantage of business process automation, data mining, data analytics, etc.
- When you chose an IaaS (Infrastructure As A Service) cloud service, you are able to leverage more computing resources at a much lower cost.
- You can access high-end hardware and other resources by paying monthly subscriptions.
- You can scale as your business grows, and you just pay for what you use.
- Would you like to make use of PaaS?
- Platform as a Service clouds provide you with all the development tools you need.
- You may be using different technologies like Microsoft, Open Source, etc., and you need development suites for each.
- PaaS provides you with development platforms as a subscription service.
- These platforms are hosted by the cloud service. and you just pay for the resources you use.
- This gives you the flexibility to mix and match different technologies best suited for different needs.
- Good APIs enable tight integration of processes across platforms and across departments.
- Do you like the flexibility to use the best applications through SaaS?
- Small or big, all organizations need different kinds of software, such as accounting software, inventory management application, CRM, ECommerce Tools, etc.
- Cloud services that provide Software as a Service let you use their tools for your needs.
- You do not have to purchase the software or the licenses, or pay for deployment, maintenance, etc.
- The deployment, maintenance are all taken care of by the SaaS provider.
- You pay a monthly subscription for using the features you need.
- Do you want to leverage cloud storage?
- With companies, and even individuals, generating so much information in the form of databases, text files, blogs, videos, images, audio files, and so on, storage needs are steadily going up.
- Cloud storage services provide secured storage spaces for your business needs.
- You can start with as small a storage capacity as you want and expand to meet your changing needs.
With cloud computing solutions, small business organizations stand to gain the most. They can now harness the full power of IT and related technologies like Big Data, AI, complex data analytics, etc without needing to make huge investments. This levels the playing field in technology use between the big and small organizations across various sectors.