Many small firms are pretty busy handling their own business, and don’t give much thought to what they would do if a natural disaster from a bad snowstorm to much worse hit their physical location and cut power, or physical access to the building. What if the equipment storing all your data and software needed to run day to day operations became inaccessible? What would happen to your ability to continue to serve your clients or customers?
Though we call it the cloud, with images of gray skies and rain, the cloud can be a ray of sunshine. It is an excellent and cost-effective resource for smaller firms to make sure they maintain 24/7 access even in bad weather. Because everything is maintained off site, you can (1) bypass disruption or damage that may have occurred at your physical site, and (2) access what you need to keep your business functioning from any remote location.
Small firms need to realize they are most vulnerable to business disruptions, as they have less capital and fewer resources to carry them through a bad period. The cloud represents a simple and value driven resource to address business continuity issues that could turn a small firm’s business upside down.
The cloud refers to using off site computing resources and storage to supplement or even replace the use of on-site/in-house resources. Instead of buying hardware and software to support your business, you are basically outsourcing this set of tasks.
Here are some of the benefits for the small firm:
With onsite computing, if you need additional capacity, you have no choice but to purchase that capacity in discrete steps, which means bearing the costs of being over-capacity for a period of time until growth catches up. Onsite computing also means you must have the capacity to handle your own peak computing and storage demands, and resources may go underutilized much of the time. The cloud allows complete elasticity in the utilization of computing resources. You buy only what you need, as you need it. You can grow or downsize as the business demands.
Pay as You Go
On-site hardware involves significant capital expenditures. The cloud allows you to pay for only what you use. The cloud also allows you to benefit from economies of scale that are not available using the in-house model. Labor, equipment, and maintenance expenses are shared across a vast pool of users.
Protection Against On-site Disaster
If a disaster strikes your physical business location, on-site resources can be damaged, destroyed, or become inaccessible for a period of time. Even if it is not a major disaster, if you have a failed server your business could be down for an extended period. When everything occurs in the cloud, you are vaccinated against this type of business calamity. You can still access and use computing resources from anywhere.
In summary, left entirely on its own a small firm just does not have the resources and capital to fully support its own technology infrastructure. The cloud turns that upside down, enabling firms to enjoy the benefits of a fully supported tech foundation without levels of expenditures that are just not feasible for smaller operations.