In 2015, the idea of businesses using computer servers located outside the four walls of their offices will start to become the norm because it makes so much commercial sense.

Cloud computing – computer servers located within a datacentre providing access to software and data – continues to grow globally.

A recent study by Goldman Sachs found that financial spend on cloud computing will grow at 30% from 2013 through 2018, while Forrester Research predicts global cloud spending to increase by 21% in 2016 over 2015 levels.

The reason so many businesses are looking to cloud-provider services, is that we are all looking to manage our businesses in the most efficient way possible while reducing our risks and maintaining flexibility to allow us to adapt to external forces.

Efficiency is at the heart of cloud computing. Moore’s law states that the hardware power of computing doubles approximately every two years. This exponential growth is allowing cloud providers to share large amounts of raw computing power between businesses in a secure and private way.

Cloud computing offers businesses the following efficiencies:

  • Cash flow:  avoiding up-front costs to buy server hardware ever again
  • Fixed cost per month: pay a combined monthly fee for support, hardware and licenses
  • Resources: free hardware upgrades mean that computing power is always sufficient

Using cloud services also reduces business risk for small business owners. Cloud providers invest heavily in large scale security, redundancy and backup systems to ensure your service is always available. This focus on reliability is something unmatched by small onsite servers checked once per month by a local IT support company.

The Internet is cloud computing’s single biggest dependency. As we look to the future, Internet services are only getting more and more reliable. In addition, we now have multiple Internet types which are independent of each other and so businesses will have a 3G or 4G Wi-Fi connection as an alternative option to the standard ADSL service.

The flexibility of the cloud ensures that no matter what external forces impact your business, your IT can help you respond quickly and cost effectively by increasing/decreasing your computing requirements each month and increasing/decreasing your costs accordingly.

These cost efficiencies are built into the pricing of cloud computing which are considered ‘elastic’. This elasticity is due to the IT resources within the DataCentre also becoming much more flexible in the way they can be deployed. Providers can ‘productise’ their services to ensure that clients only pay for what they need with no commitment/contract.

Cloud computing should not be looked at as being cheaper than traditional IT services, but it certainly should be seen as offering significantly more value for a similar cost and amortised over an ongoing period into the future. This is especially relevant to small businesses who are taking on new systems and software and want added surety that their accounting information is always backed up and confidential.

Using a recommended Australian cloud computing service provider will ensure you receive a secure and private service. Habitat3 Cloud Services is recommended by Mobileezy and is able to host Mobileezy and its customers’ accounting system to ensure their business utilises the cloud to gain efficiencies, reduce risk and increase flexibility.

More information is available at: http://www.habitat3.net.au/mobileezy

By John Perkins, habitat3