You’ve probably been reading about the cloud, but are not sure how or where to start. OK, we understand. But, you don’t want to just jump in because it sounds good. That’s why we recommend you start with our Small Business Guide for Moving to the Cloud.
Note that at this time we're limiting our review to Software as a Service (SaaS) type of cloud applications.
After you've digested the guide, give some thought to the developing trends for 2017.
Cloud application trends for 2017:
When you take cloud services and couple them with mobile data solutions, allowing easy access from almost anywhere, you have a complete solution for today's more mobile business needs.
Many products integrate multiple applications in one and simultaneously provide updated information across numerous desktop and mobile devices.
You’ll see how the dots connect when you review our SaaS recommendations below:
Today the majority of small businesses use at least one cloud business solution and the trend is increasing. A popular use of the cloud is in the form of subscription software commonly known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Survey results indicate that despite security and privacy concerns businesses continue to invest at a healthy rate in public cloud applications.
Over the last year as cloud computing proliferated Cloud Service Brokers (CSB) have become a key factor for users of multiple cloud services. A CSB is a service provider that acts as an intermediary between the company and the cloud service(s) their utilizing. With the variety of cloud applications growing, SMBs will see having a CSB with expertise responsible for the configuration and management of their cloud infrastructure a valued part of their total IT solution.
This year we expect to see more businesses take advantage of the availability and low cost of cloud storage. Advantages include reduced capital outlay and 24x7 access to information from any smartphone, tablet or laptop. While many free storage options are available, a little homework may save you some headaches. Check into low-cost options that provide encrypted data storage with two-factor protected access to enhance security of your data.
Today, a hybrid cloud storage implementation which could include a public cloud, private cloud and local on-premises storage solution, is the preferred model for most SMBs. With this approach businesses may choose to store sensitive data in the companies on-premises servers for added security purposes.
With many high profile companies suffering damaging data breaches this past year, it’s no wonder businesses consider network security a top priority. Businesses need to have a thorough knowledge of potential security risks and vulnerabilities with on-premise and mobile services to start. A careful review of internal business practices with corrective action can go a long way in preventing many problems. Some of the security improvements should include making sure you have current anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on all devices. Educating employees on the risks and best practices is essential.
The majority of small businesses believes that mobile solutions are essential business enablers. The primary reason given is mobility increases productivity. Survey results are not surprising given the popularity of company owned and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programs providing users better collaboration with access to information anywhere.
More recent trends include mobile payments and the use of Geo-location in mobile marketing. New mobile payment services such as Apple Pay employing NFC technology may be the future, however, this segment of the market requires careful monitoring. Geo-location in advertising and marketing means pushing out ads to people within a given radius of a business. Social media has recently made this feature more affordable.
Are you ready to start?
If you believe you're ready to start, click HERE for some recommendations.
Note: All of our recommendations are mobile friendly.
If you need help moving to the cloud or just need assistance with an application, check our Services page where you'll find helpful service providers. If you can't find what you need just Contact us