When you think of a cloud and its association with your computer, your first thought is probably, “that thing my iPhone tells me never has enough room to back up my phone’s information on.” While Apple’s iCloud system is probably the most prevalent cloud in today’s lexicon, more and more companies are getting on the cloud bandwagon to improve their systems and overall businesses. Take a look at how some large companies have utilized cloud systems and how you can apply their successes to your small business.
Forbes recently profiled three businesses that have successfully used cloud computing to make their businesses exponentially better. The Hartford has updated its IT systems to include a private cloud which the company hopes to use in an effort to reduce costs, improve the overall availability of its system and to bring products to market with greater speed. Delhaize America, most notable for its operation of Food Lion grocery stores, is using a SoftLayer cloud computing system to study how weather affects sales at its stores in an effort to help make smarter decisions about store inventory. Pearson, an education company, is using its cloud systems to supply digital educational materials to fast-growing markets like South Africa and China to alleviate the costs of having to have a physical presence in those countries.
According to Forbes, the three companies listed above are great examples of how you can use cloud systems and mold them to your business’ needs. Some companies like Delhaize start small while some companies like Pearson have big plans and maximize the use of their cloud systems. So how can you determine how much cloud space you need for your company? CircleID has some great suggestions on what to look for in determining the right cloud for you:
- Growth – Don’t get more cloud space than you need in your current situation. You have the option of renting cloud space instead of just buying your own. That way you can more easily determine how much space you need from month-to-month and you are generally guaranteed the latest models. You won’t have to spend countless dollars upgrading your own cloud system and if you need more space at any given time, you can rent it.
- Synchronicity – As business models grow, many companies are choosing to save money by not having huge office spaces and allowing employees to work from home. This requires there to be a cloud system in place for employees to share vital documents and information in a centralized location. This also allows mobile devices, tablets and computers to have access to the same information.
- Specificity – Small businesses don’t necessarily want to spend the money for their own cloud system, but that’s where companies like MDL come into play. We can help you determine what services you need on your cloud and can help you decide whether to start small or go all out and let you specify exactly what you need from cloud computing services.
You don’t have to model your small business after the big dogs in order to succeed. That’s one of the great benefits of cloud computing models. You can decide price points, just what you need out of a cloud system and can opt for smaller or larger spaces on a cloud depending on your needs at any given time.