Cloud Computing Basics for the Self-Employed
Entrepreneurship is on the rise globally. More and more individuals are choosing not to work for organizations and instead are opening their own businesses.
Indeed, what we are witnessing is a tectonic shift in the thinking of people who, in the not too distant past, would have looked at the whole prospect of pursuing their own business opportunity with a degree of fear and foreboding. The first choice of people looking for a stable job would have been to work for a company, rather than opening their own.
But things have changed. People are looking for more flexibility, control and purpose form their professional lives and this is where the entrepreneurial spirit gets hold of them. What better way to be in charge of your professional growth than by running your own business?
But, there is another reason why we are seeing a dramatic growth in the number of people who are starting a business. That is because of the evolution of technology. Easy and affordable access to advanced technology has meant it is easier than ever to optimally mange a business. Technology empowered entrepreneurs find it easy to take decisions that trigger strategic growth.
What a business owner is going to face is the problem of plenty.
What a business owner is going to face is a problem of plenty. There is a smorgasbord of technology options available out there and each technology is promising fantastic deliverables. So, which one do you choose?
The answer lies in choosing technologies that are perfectly suited for your needs and requirements. You need to pick a “friend” that helps your business prosper and compete. It should be the kind of technology that is scalable so that it can meet the growing needs of your business.
It should become your best friend.
One such friend goes by the name of ‘cloud computing’. Many of you must have heard how cloud is playing the role of catalyst in a business’s growth story. There is absolutely no doubt cloud computing is a game changer for businesses. It is disruptive technology at its best and a must have weapon in their armory.
The cloud offers far reaching benefits to entrepreneurs.
So, just what is cloud computing?
Cloud computing or the cloud is an umbrella term that includes on-demand third party hardware and software services that are delivered over the internet. You pay for the IT service you use, which means you don’t have to pay through your nose to access even the most advanced applications on the market or store your data on state-of-the art, data centers.
There are three cloud services you can leverage for business benefit, which include Software as a Service (you access cloud based applications), Platform as a Service (you access a comprehensive cloud based environment for developing and delivering cloud-based applications) and Infrastructure as a Service (you access IT infrastructure like servers, data center etc.)
You need to think of the cloud as a comprehensive resource of technology; it simplifies access to cutting edge technology, making it extremely hassle free and also very cost effective.
Why is the cloud a friend like no other?
The cloud can be your business’s best friend provided you are able to optimally leverage its benefits. Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and the hottest software is of no use if you don’t optimize their use.
As an entrepreneur, you must make use of the cloud to explore new growth opportunities by improving your business processes. Take a look at how “friendship” with the cloud can be good for your business:
The Cloud Helps you Compete with the Big Boys
One of the reasons why people didn’t give in to their entrepreneurial spirit was the fear that the already established players in the niche would steamroll all opposition. Well, the arrival of the cloud has changed all that. It has leveled the playing field. With very little investment in infrastructure, startups and small businesses can give stiff competition to larger enterprises. In fact, the smaller players can compete with their bigger counterparts by leveraging the most advanced cloud based solutions.
For example, they can deploy systems that deliver key customer/market intelligence by crunching big data; their inherent smaller footprint provides them with the flexibility to respond quickly to the needs of the customer/market. This is just one of the ways the cloud can help even small businesses win against the heavy weights of their niche.
The Cloud fosters Innovation
When you are accessing applications/systems/IT assets through the cloud, you are essentially making it easier for your employees to access business critical data. The convergence of advanced technology and seamless access to information facilitates faster decision making and also improves productivity. It also helps trigger innovation. Three Ways Cloud Computing is Driving Rapid Innovation is a great read on the subject.
One of the barriers to innovation is the acquisition and deployment of the necessary IT resources; the cloud can help you deploy these IT resources and ensure your sole focus is to use them to come up with radical solutions.
The Cloud is Long Term
In the cloud, you have a friend that you can stick with, for the long term, as long as you want to. The cloud wars being fought by the biggest cloud service providers mean that a move to the cloud is very affordable. What’s more, the increased competition means these companies are also improving their cloud services portfolio. Things will keep getting better and better. In fact, there will come a time when you will find entrepreneurs operating their business through the cloud; all core and non-core operations will be cloud deployed.
To Conclude…If you are an entrepreneur and not using cloud computing you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to boost business growth. This is a cardinal mistake because the cloud gives your business a competitive edge and that too without you digging deep inside your pockets. This is one advantage you cannot miss.
Stan Roach is the Chief Customer Officer at Agiliron, a SaaS solution provider for omni-channel commerce. He has over 30 years of experience with a track record of launching several B2C and B2B software products. Feel free to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.