Most small business owners have heard the term “in the cloud” or “cloud solutions” from either IT service providers, software or hardware manufacturers, or almost any type of media publication that deals with this topic.
But what is the cloud?
I believe the cloud can be described as virtually any solution that is accessed over the Internet. Perhaps the simplest example of a cloud solution could be hosted email solutions such as Hotmail or G mail. But for small businesses the cloud represents a new freedom from the requirement to host applications locally and can lead to a significant reduction in hardware/software expense to maintain that infrastructure. The cloud also affords small businesses a vast array of applications and functions that can lead to better utilization of their IT resources.
The cloud can be utilized for a multitude of applications such as accounting with products like Quickbooks Online, CRM solutions such as Salesforce, backup solutions such as Carbonite as well as thousands of hosted solutions by both large and small providers.
In San Diego IT service providers are constantly researching cloud solutions to meet the needs of their small business clients and cloud providers are adding to and improving their offerings on a regular basis.
In short it might be possible to think of the cloud as any type of solution that increases productivity, improves security, or accomplishes a task but is not hosted locally. We will examine how small business owners utilize cloud solutions as well as “hybrid” environments in future weeks. Stay tuned………