Cloud Computing for Small Business
In three previous articles we’ve examined cloud computing from Microsoft, what the software giant likes to call “Cloud Power.” Beginning with Cloud Power will have your Business Soaring we took an overview of cloud-based computing and what it has to offer small businesses. We followed this with a deeper look at Windows SkyDrive, the free online storage application from Microsoft that competes with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Apple iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive Cloud Service for Small Business. In our latest article we also took a look at Windows Azure, the enterprise cloud-based solution from Microsoft, Windows Azure – Cloud-Based Mega Storage & Computing Power.
As your preferred Denver IT solutions resource, the network specialists at North Star, Inc. have made it our mission to present you with solutions that help our clients become more productive and reduce costs. With that in mind, we offer you answers to the questions you may have about cloud computing.
Does my business need the cloud?
Even more important than which service you might choose is the question of whether or not it’s time to transition to the cloud. Only after that question has been answered will the choice among cloud-based services matter. So, let’s ask a few more questions that will help you decide…
- Would you prefer pay-as-you-go services over investments in applications?
- Would you rather pay for the storage you need than invest in servers and other hardware?
- Would you like to save space in your offices rather than building a server room?
- Would you like to have all of your productivity apps available for your mobile team to use 24/7, 365?
- Would you like to be able to use the most versatile computing system on the market at all times from any location?
- If you answered yes to any combination of these questions you are a good candidate for the transition to Cloud Power.
When should I move my business to the cloud?
Once you decide to make the move to cloud-based computing, the time to transition is sooner rather than later – like, right now. If you are already running a server-based, on-site system, the transition to the cloud can be made gradually, a few users at a time. This will allow every member of your team to adjust and adapt over time, helping to prevent glitches. If, on the other hand, this will be your first move into server-type computing, using Microsoft servers rather than your own, the transition should be made by the entire team collectively.
- Transition from on-site IT solutions gradually to avoid potential problems
- Transition to cloud-based server solutions as a team if you do not currently rely on in-house solutions
- The sooner you make the transition to cloud power, the sooner you gain access to the most versatile server technologies available today
Which cloud-based service is the best for my business?
The particular Microsoft cloud-based service you choose will depend upon the needs of your organization; the level of functionality you seek, the amount of data storage you need, and whether or not you are looking for an alternative to purchasing the Office suite of productivity tools for each of your users.
Each offering from Microsoft has advantages and it is even possible to mix and match from among the three…
- Office 365 – beginning at just $4 per month/per user, your organization will have access to every function available within the Office productivity platform rather than repeatedly paying for the software program.
- Microsoft SkyDrive – free online storage up to 7GB, with reasonable rates for greater volume and access to the full complement of Office productivity tools, as well as the free suite of Web Apps.
- Windows Azure – for mega-storage and massive computing power in an extremely secure online environment.
Can North Star help me decide what I need?
Of course we can; that is what we are here for, after all. Each of our IT specialists is trained and experienced in a broad range of IT solutions for small business, whether cloud-based solutions or on-site IT hardware-based solutions.
If you are looking for reliable IT consulting in Denver and the surrounding areas, North Star, Inc., is the place to go for quality Denver network support, including your introduction to Cloud Computing. Get in touch with us today with your IT Service Request, and let us help you decide which cloud service is best for you.