There is a lot of talk these days about Cloud Computing, but what does it really mean, especially for small/medium businesses?
Many small to medium businesses in New Zealand do not know about 'cloud computing' and how it can benefit their business and make their lives easier. While larger companies that have their own IT manager understand about cloud computing and what it can offer their business, smaller companies are being left in the dark.
One of the possible reasons for this, is that the current IT service providers have typically made their money from selling hardware, software and labour at an hourly rate. If their customers were to embrace cloud computing and hosted applications, then they would not stand to make as much, so they are not encouraging their customers to investigate these options.
Effective IT has recognised this gap in the marketplace and was established to help small to medium businesses get to grips cloud computing and hosted applications. We help people to understand what it all means, where it may fit within their business and how to go about implementing it. We work with small-medium businesses to become a part-time IT manager for them, giving them all the benefits of having someone on their team with experience and expertise to offer the right advice and guideance, without having to carry the cost of a full-time person.
Many people are now running some sort of hosted application at home, without even realising it! TradeMe and Facebook are used by thousands of people everyday and are a great examples of running hosted applications via your Web browser. There are also many business tools that can be run in just the same way, in a Web browser, without having to own and maintain your own servers or expensive infrastructure.
For most businesses, the move to cloud computing and hosted applications is likely be a gradual one - they may implement an online backup, or start running a single hosted application now, along with having their own infrastructure. However, by the time it comes around to replace their servers, they will have the option of just running hosted virtual servers in the cloud, rather than having to replace hardware and needing to own and maintain their own infrastructure. My mission is to make sure the small to medium business owners and managers have all the information they need about how this all works, to then be able to make informed decisions on what is best for their businesses.