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Why Small Business Needs Cloud Computing

Cloud is uniquely suited to meet the needs of a small business trying to grow quickly

They may be small in terms of the number of employees, but small businesses stand to reap big benefits when it comes to cloud computing.

Cloud is uniquely suited to meet the needs of a small business trying to grow quickly. If you are an entrepreneur or own a small business, here are some reasons compiled by SmartDataCollective.com, why cloud computing would be a good fit.

Less Startup Costs
Many potential entrepreneurs are inhibited by the huge upfront costs required in order to get a business up and running. Investing in technology can be particularly consuming, but with the cloud, it doesn't have to be. A cloud database can provide everything from the basic infrastructure to ready-to-use applications, so business owners only have to plug in and go.

IT Maintenance Outsourcing
Maintenance is a huge long-term cost that eats up the business owner's time if they are doing it themselves or the time of the IT manager whose time would be better spent working on strategic projects. In either case, cloud providers take care of all of their own maintenance, freeing up those resources considerably.

Pay as You Go
Most cloud providers offer varying options of a pay as you go plan. Some have you pay based on the amount of storage space you use, while others have you pay for the amount of time you are using a particular application. The benefit is you are only paying for technological resources as you need them and not maintaining extra servers or software licenses that the company is getting no value from.

Half of Enterprises to Use Hybrid Cloud by 2017
The private cloud has proven it has what enterprises seek, and now it's predicted the hybrid form of cloud computing will be the next big thing.

According to Gartner, nearly half of large enterprises will be engaged in a combined, public and private cloud operation, called "hybrid" cloud computing, four years from now.

Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman makes the projection in an Oct. 1 report, "Private Cloud Matures, Hybrid Cloud Is Next." The report assumes that the opposition to public cloud, which looms large in many enterprise IT surveys, will fall away in the near future, at least for limited hybrid operations, according to an article on InformationWeek.com.

Hybrid cloud wasn't necessarily a goal as enterprises undertook their first cloud projects. Bittman found that "nearly half of large enterprises polled have deployed a private cloud service." Of those polled, only 11% had no plans to build a private cloud through 2014.

Companies have been building out private cloud operations because they want the speed of provisioning, the flexible capacity to respond to increased demand and the more standard architecture they see operating in the largest public clouds. Facebook has published the server, storage and networking specifications that the early public cloud builders kept under wraps, giving enterprise IT a checklist of how it might go about building its own self-service provisioning and automated operations.

Cloud Ready for Its Close-Up
Lights, camera, cloud computing!

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has put together a documentary that highlights the growth of cloud computing and the network's role as a foundation for cloud-based innovations, such as Big Data and software-defined networking, which are in the process of transforming the IT industry, according to an article on Telecomreseller.com.

The documentary, "The Cloud: Building in Mid-Air" also discusses security and capacity issues, data center power costs and other hurdles to cloud adoption.

The TIA is the leading association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks. In addition to providing significant background information and graphics to help explain the challenges and opportunity of cloud computing, the documentary features interviews with cloud pioneers and executives who are focused on virtualization.

"The Cloud: Building in Mid-Air" is available at: http://www.tia2013.org/future-network-documentary.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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