The ever-shifting world of business can result in great years followed by periods of stagnation, with previous market leaders slipping out of favour, as they have to adapt and follow the trends set by upcoming movers and shakers.
Cloud computing is one technology that is regularly touted as the next big thing in business innovation, allowing businesses to keep pace through benefits, which are often little understood. But how is it that this kind of IT system can manage to make a difference?
I have outlined the four key components that make cloud computing such an important development, each of which will apply to your company irrespective of its size or budget. You can then use this to analyse the suitability of any cloud platform that you might consider, to make sure that it is a suitable long-term solution for your business.
Without value being on its side, the cloud's other benefits would seem less pronounced. Make sure that if you are locked into a contract with a provider, you will be getting a good deal for your loyalty. In addition, those companies investing in more significant cloud set-ups should find that economic efficiency increases as they ratchet up the comprehensiveness of their adoption.
Combining facets in the cloud that meet multiple requirements in your business will put you in a good position to fully exploit this IT setup. Integration should include everything from data storage and business apps to web hosting and social media.
Your business cloud needs to be able to adapt to shifting technological advancements and easily be updated to include new systems as they are developed. Without this it could become a dead weight like an outdated in-house setup.
The cloud should fluidly fit into your business model rather than requiring that you make changes to suit it. Businesses big and small should be able to choose a cloud platform that is tailored to their needs.
Disclosure: The author Stefan Töpfer, FIoEE, is the CEO of WinWeb.com - a leading business cloud infrastructure provider. The views and opinions expressed are his and are based on over three decades of personal experience as a serial entrepreneur, editor of The Small Business Blog, mentor and angel investor.