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Cloud Computing Management

Alan Tran (Australia) - The Impact of Cloud Computing on My Small Business

My name is Alan Tran and I run a small IT business in Melbourne. Cloud computing is definitely the new phenomenon in today's IT world. It promises to help businesses overcome challenges by offering infrastructure as a service, along with pledging true agility and cost advantages. In this article I intend to run through the real benefits and challenges that this has presented to my business.

Small businesses like me find it difficult financially to continuously re‐new computers. This means we are rarely equipped with the tools to compete with the larger competitors. I have found the huge upfront cost of upgrading is neither worth the hassle nor the long term cost savings. That is why cloud computing has proved so beneficial to my business.

The decision to deploy cloud computing has had a profound impact on the cost of IT infrastructure, and a reduction in fixed costs of entry and production. Most important of all it has managed all this without the need for any major upfront investment in hardware and software. It has allowed me the ability to adjust my IT assets in alignment with new and emerging technology - with minimum risks. It has given me an immediate strategic advantage over similar companies, who are still using the traditional approaches to IT. The benefits to my business have been overwhelming!

Implementation of the cloud model into my business gave me instant results because it did not mandate a time‐consuming infrastructure build‐up process. It made it possible for my business to capitalize on centralizing all my data in ways not previously possible. This is particularly significant in Australia, as with the implementation of the soon to be National Broadband Network (NBN), and progressively faster internet, I could access all documents and data from any device anywhere and anytime (with an internet access).This has enabled me greater efficiency and control via better access to relevant real‐time information; which in turn has allowed me to make more informed - faster - business decisions.

But there is one problem associated with cloud computing - security. The fact is as soon as we communicate with other computers via the internet, we essentially are taking a risk: the risks of infection, spywares, penetration from cyber criminals profiting from a successful attack.

This rendered data security and SSLA (Security Service Level Agreement) major concerns for me. Now however, after lots of research and analysis, I have concluded that we are living in a technological evolving world, internet technology will become a pillar of our society and dictates the way we live our life in future. To deny the internet is denying our right to normal progressive business. Besides, most Cloud computing platforms have adequate security protection in place with 256bit encryption, which is able to prevent most unauthorized penetration. As a result, security issues for smaller businesses are not as significant as they are for bigger organizations.

I hope you can use some of my personal experiences with cloud computing as a foundation for adopting the cloud into your business. For a successful implementation careful planning and execution must in place. But from a small business perspective, it's definitely the right choice! With low risk and high gain this will help streamline your business - so you can focus on your real work.

Alan Tran is Managing Director of Amexcom Solutions in Australia

 

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