The buzz word in business lately has been cloud computing. With so many uses, innovations and cost saving options, it only makes sense that companies would start to integrate cloud services into their business. By reducing overhead, startup costs, and increasing productivity, the cloud seems like an easy choice. However, there are still a lot of smaller businesses and even larger corporations that are still on the fence about the cloud and how it would benefit them. So how can you determine if it is time to integrate cloud computing?

Determine its Uses:

 The first consideration of any business is whether they can make use of a new service and the benefits versus the cost. With cloud services, this is no different. If your current business strategy can use a virtual service that can account for the cost, then it is worth taking a look.

One of the attractive features of cloud services is the low startup cost and the reduction in current costs. For instance, if your business currently houses their own file storage servers, you have the cost of maintaining the servers, upgrading storage space, and powering the servers. With cloud services you have the option of paying for a cloud storage service that handles all the maintenance with the ease of upgrading space, or downgrading, as needed. This offers cost saving options that every business can benefit from.

Another cloud service that many businesses utilize is online collaboration. With so many companies outsourcing or hiring remote employees, real-time collaboration increases productivity and ease. Having the ability to upload and download files, share changes immediately and send large files over the internet creates a useful tool with little cost. The increase in productivity, decrease in errors and the ability to access collaborated files from multiple platforms makes the cloud beneficial to almost every business.

Integration Options:

 While some companies choose to utilize 3rd party cloud service providers, some companies integrate their own servers into their current infrastructure, other companies have decided to use a hybrid of online services and in-house cloud servers. This allows for each company to find the option that works with their current budgets, needs, and preferences.

If you don’t want to integrate a cloud server rack into your current infrastructure, there are plenty of online services that will offer the same uses without the need for additional equipment. If you plan to use a hybrid of the two or integrate your own server, there are cheap and easy options for that as well. Depending on how your business operates, which services you are looking for, and your budget, the cloud offers an option.

Security Needs:

 When determining which type of online service you want to use, security should always be addressed. This is especially true for those who need to share confidential and sensitive information. Cloud services offer security that FTP’s of the past did not. With the ability to track user actions, manage logins, and even create virtual data rooms with increased security has attracted industries such as healthcare, law, and insurance companies.

Whether you are looking for a private cloud service or an open-source option, cloud security is available. With less intrusion, data loss, and the ability to specify which users can access which files, your company can be assured that your information and business is safe but accessible to those who matter.

Cloud computing is becoming not only a business standard but also a technology standard. As services evolve and more innovations are discovered, the cloud is becoming more adaptable to how we do business and access information. If you are still undecided about whether cloud computing is right for your business, take a look at the many options available and see which services will help your business succeed.

About the author: Jason Hunter is a tech blogger and IT consultant who utilizes cloud services for secure file transfer and file sharing between clients.

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