How Small To Medium-Sized Enterprises Can Build A New Life In The Clouds
By Steve Garnett, Chairman EMEA, salesforce.com
IT suffers from an image problem across much of the business world. Rather than being viewed as a positive enabler, helping to drive revenue generation and competitive edge, it is often seen as expensive and difficult to manage.
This negative perception is particularly strong among Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs. While these businesses have the potential to benefit from innovative technology, they do not want additional costs or administrative worries in-house and hold back from investing in tools that could transform their businesses. That reticence is reinforced by experiences of buying technology that has not...
...delivered expected value and ROI.
Yet a new approach to IT has emerged which is set to change this. Cloud computing is based on the concept that IT should largely be delivered as a service over the Internet. Documents, emails and other data will be stored online or ‘in the cloud’, making them accessible from any PC, laptop or mobile device, and importantly, in real-time.
Cloud computing offers attractive benefits to SMEs especially at a time when many are looking to do more for less. To run business applications, SME's would previously have needed high-spec PCs and servers in-house. Internal networks would also have required investment and management.
Cloud applications, in contrast, require no more infrastructure than an internet connection and can even work wirelessly on a range of mobile devices. This capability enables companies to greatly reduce upfront capital expense - a key consideration in the current economic downturn.
By switching to cloud computing, they can also cut maintenance costs because services and applications run from inside a web server. Equally, unlike other more traditional client-server approaches, cloud applications do not consume an SME's valuable internal resources. The... continued on page two >