Moving Systems onto the Cloud proves a Viable Option

In these continuing difficult financial times, enterprise resource planning maintains a large significance in the financial outlook for many companies, whether they are large or small.  Keeping costs under control remains of vital importance in ensuring a healthy balance sheet under such challenging economic conditions.  Because of this need to cut costs, cloud computing is an area that more and more enterprises are considering as an alternative to comparatively costly in-house information technology systems.

The basics of cloud computing

Cloud computing was under discussion as a concept for a good length of time, and it has now gained a significant foothold within the business community as an effective way to save money on computing resources.  Instead of a company investing large amounts of money in on-site data technology, data security, and information technology expertise, cloud computing provides alternative remote resources for storing data and maintaining applications and the relevant software infrastructure.  For the company using these resources, the only basic need is internet access from the on-site computer hardware.  In such cases, the users do not need to know how the cloud operates or where the data is physically stored.

Savings for businesses that use the cloud

This approach to computing means that a lot of otherwise expensive items can be removed from the bottom line on the expenses side of the balance sheet.  While desktop or laptop computers are still required, along with internet connectivity, the cloud approach removes the need to acquire costly network servers and the related central hard disk data storage capacity.  In addition, there is much less need to maintain a whole information technology department, as the server and data maintenance is also taken care of in an outsourced manner.  For many companies, this is a significant saving on personnel costs.  Linked to this, there is less need to continually update data related areas, such as secure storage, as the use of the cloud means that sensitive data no longer has to be stored in the same physical location as the company’s office.

The cloud as a viable option

The fact that the data is no longer physically present on company premises has caused some people to question the data security of the cloud.  The cost savings are apparent, but these people have questioned the risks to possibly critical business data.  Indeed, it is true that the company creating and using the data remains responsible for that data in law, if not in practical day-to-day maintenance.  However, with an adequate contract in place, including a security audit for the cloud computing provider, these concerns can be significantly reduced.  Moreover, the fact that a cloud computing provider specialises in data storage and security, and can recruit appropriate expertise in relation to the overall size of the concern, means that such a provider is often more alert to and ready to respond to security concerns than many smaller in-house company IT departments.

The net result is that the savings in costs, coupled with contractual data security and a company dedicated to data and data infrastructure maintenance, mean that cloud computing is now increasingly viable for many businesses.

 

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