There’s a computing opportunity for small business owners today that didn’t exist a few years back. You can have the benefits of an IT department, with software, hardware and service, without having it on-premise.
The buzzword for it is the “cloud,” or “cloud computing.” The Wikipedia entry for cloud computing begins with this:
“Cloud computing is a paradigm of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the “cloud” that supports them.”
What’s this mean, in non-tech speak? If you have a computer with a good connection to the internet, all the software and computers you’d use would “live” in the internet somewhere, NOT in your building.
It’s the idea that someone else will have, and manage, the computers and software you use. When you want to use that software, you connect to them via your internet connection, transferring some of the headaches elsewhere.
Yes, there are some associated risks that must be evaluated seriously, but this does open some interesting possibilities for the small business in need of software.
Photo credit: Bruna Ferrara