As cloud computing becomes better understood, more organizations will adopt the technology to aid them in gaining a competitive advantage over rival firms. Impressive cloud performance
capabilities will also allow smaller companies to level the playing field with enterprises that have more substantial budgets, capable of enabling chief executive officers to invest in more expensive technologies.
Small business decision-makers need to understand the subtle differences in varying cloud types and how they may be able to benefit from adopting specific solutions. Infrastructure-as-a-Service, for example, is a cloud provisioning
model that is meant to help companies support storage, servers, networking equipment and other internal operations, according to a report by Computer Technology Review
IaaS often provides small and medium-sized businesses with cloud scalability
and flexibility capabilities, allowing decision-makers to save money by investing only a fraction of the price that would otherwise be needed to implement similar services.
Software-as-a-Service, which is one of the most commonly deployed cloud models, is run directly through the internet and enables IT departments to deploy solutions without numerous downloads or installations, Computer Technology Review said.
According to a report by research firm Gartner
, the SaaS market is predicted to generate more than $14 billion in revenue for 2012, up by nearly 18 percent from 2011. These profits will continue growing through 2015, eventually exceeding $22 billion, as companies continue to recognize the benefits of this cloud model.
Regardless of whichever cloud model decision-makers and IT departments feel is more advantageous to the business, there are several goals that need to be met to guarantee quality cloud performance. Companies need to ensure that the cloud will be highly available, allowing individuals to access mission-critical data and applications at anytime from anywhere on any device, Computer Technology Review noted.
Additionally, small and medium-sized businesses must guarantee that the cloud will be capable of supporting capacity demands, Computer Technology Review said. This is especially important for organizations that are looking to grow in size or those that often experience volatile traffic, as hosted services that cannot handle bandwidth fluctuations will only hurt the company.
Finally, decision-makers need to ensure the user response time meets business demands, Computer Technology Review noted.
Creating a strong service-level agreement with the cloud provider will help guarantee that all performance, availability and end-user goals are met.
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