What is Cloud Computing and How Can it Help Your Business?

By on May 17, 2011

There are a ton of explanations on the internet defining exactly what cloud computing is – but frankly, they are all different, according to the perspective of the person who has written the article. Cloud computing is basically storing data in the cloud (also known as the internet), so that you can access it from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

The cloud can be servers, applications, networks or services outside of your own PC or Mac. In other words you keep your data on the internet, instead of on your home server, and rely completely on that service or system to access it when you need to. Hootsuite, Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn and many other social media sites are considered part of cloud computing technology.

When you run a small business, there are many benefits involved in using cloud computing to store your data. Let’s explore them below.

#1: Store Unlimited Amounts of Information

Creating a mountain of content can become difficult for a small business that consistently has to find space on computers, hard-drives or internal servers, if they want to keep it all. When you use ‘the cloud’ there is virtually no limit on the amount of data you can store. This is helpful when maintaining a social media campaign that demands more and more content.

#2: Upload and Access From Anywhere in The World

One of the best features of cloud technology, is that because it’s online, employees, clients and fans can access the information wherever they happen to be. All you need is an internet connection – so mobile technology literally lets you find or upload data instantly from your current location. You don’t have to be in your office anymore.

#3: Cost Effective and Scalable

Because cloud computing involves outsourcing, management and storage, its cost effective. This means that you can start small, and as your business grows, you can invest more in using these external resources. Many of these platforms base their prices on the amount of space you consume, so there’s never any real risk of being overcharged for using them.

#4: Quick and Easy, Easy, Easy

When you set up your business, you were required to buy licensed software, good hardware – and to pay large amounts for technicians to implement your various processes. With cloud computing, you don’t have to deal with any of that nonsense. There is also a large amount of support available from these platforms – especially from the larger companies like Amazon, Google and IBM.

There are always concerns about safety and privacy when using cloud computing for your small business – but on the whole it’s the future of data storage and sharing. Make your business mobile, fast and modern, by utilizing cloud technology and join the thousands of business that have already found a less expensive, more convenient way to make money.

What do you like about cloud technology? Is there a specific brand, company or platform you’d like to recommend? Let us know!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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