In an attempt to gain a competitive advantage over larger firms without investing too much money, many small and medium-sized businesses are implementing cloud computing services. Challenges associated with cost and trust are the main issues that these companies face during the cloud provisioning process, according to a CloudTweaks report by IBM product marketing director Rebecca Buisan.
Migrating each application and every scrap of data to the hosted environments on the first go may negatively impact cloud performance. Instead, the report said, decision-makers should develop a relationship and build trust with a service provider. In doing so, the vendor can help the organization develop a cloud strategy that determines its cloud readiness, as well as which and when solutions can be migrated, Buisan noted.
By taking advantage of the cloud's pay-as-you-use pricing model, SMB IT departments can maintain the "do more with less" mantra that has driven so many organizations to find innovative technologies in the midst of an unstable economy. Meanwhile, since solutions are on demand in the hosted environments, companies can use the cloud scalability benefits to expand or contract their capacity, Buisan asserted.
Over the past few years, businesses have also begun using social tools to improve communication and collaboration between employees. As cloud computing becomes more widely accepted, social applications are being hosted through the virtual environments, Buisan said, enabling individuals to access them anywhere through a wide variety of platforms and improve efficiency inside and outside the office.
A new study by WinterGreen Research found that the market for cloud-based collaboration and productivity tools will generate more than $21 billion in revenue by 2018, growing from slightly less than $4 billion in 2011. This increasing adoption comes from companies realizing that the solutions are less expensive to purchase and maintain than traditional premise-based services.
Additionally, cloud-based collaboration fits well with businesses that allow employees to bring personal computing gadgets into the office, since individuals can use any medium they choose and still communicate with colleagues and clients. Bring-your-own-device programs are gaining ground in the private sector and implementing a technology, like the cloud, that reduces complexity will help businesses meet evolving goals, WinterGreen Research said.
Cloud computing will continue to be a disruptive technology that allows organizations of all sizes to improve efficiency, reduce expenses, adapt easier with changing markets and simplify IT processes.
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