Cloud computing a ‘next big thing’ with staying power

For small business owners, the promises of the latest technology can be enticing, but hoping it is able to deliver can be a different story. Every year, there seems to be a new trend that is taking the business IT world by storm and is being touted as the next "game-changer." While many of them do have an impact, very few ever live up to the hype and morph into something else within a few years of their debut. This was seen in the mobile phone market as the Palm Pilot and BlackBerry burst onto the business scene in the early 2000s, but were turned completely on their head by Apple and the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.

Cloud computing is one innovation that falls into the category of "next big thing." Business owners are no doubt aware of the technology and the benefits that it can bring to the table. However, unlike many services and gadgets that have fallen by the wayside, the future of the cloud looks bright.

A recent article from Business News Daily looked at what could be coming down the pipeline for the cloud and why it will have staying power.

"The popularity of cloud computing for businesses is undeniable," the article reads. "With an ever-increasing number of mobile devices that have constant Internet connectivity, the cloud is one of the best ways to boost efficiency and collaboration within your business. What was once seen as a revolutionary way to do business is now the norm."

The article also cites a study by Market Research Reports that examines where the cloud could be heading. According to the report, the cloud has surpassed the original functions of computing and storage and is now affecting many other business functions like communications, content and applications. This can be seen in the latest versions of Voice over IP systems, document sharing, mobile payments and entire business suites operating through the cloud.

Also giving credence to the rise in the cloud is how other major innovations like mobile devices and improved wireless capabilities that make perfect companion technologies to the cloud.

How can small businesses take advantage of the cloud?

Knowing what the cloud is capable of is one thing, but actually implementing the technology into current workflow and taking advantage of it is another. This is especially true for small businesses that already must be careful with every investment they make.

A recent article from the Tacoma News Tribune in Washington examined the ways that smaller enterprises can improve their operations with the help of cloud technology. This includes software-as-a-service, remote access to information and disaster recovery potential.

"Housing information in the cloud also decreases the chances of data being lost because of local hardware failures or even human error like leaving your laptop behind in a taxicab," the article reads. "Cloud-based SaaS also has the advantage of staying up to date without having to perform frequent local updates."

The cloud is one of the hottest topics in IT and is showing little sign of stopping. With the help of an IT consulting firm that specializes in the solution, any company can implement it effectively and improve its operations.

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