Cloud Computing for Small Businesses?

by Lynnea Bylund on January 25, 2011 · 5 comments

Outsourcing computer applications to providers over the Web gives you flexibility and saves money, too.  We recently made the jump to cloud computing.  Catalyst clients now have the option of QuickBooks hosting on “the cloud” for improved access, speed, and security.  See our video demo at Green-Paperless Solutions for your Bookkeeping-Accounting and your entire Small Business.

QuickBooks Cloud Hosting“2010 was THE year IT had their heads in the cloud (computing, that is). While most of us already use cloud-based services (Facebook, Gmail, Flickr and YouTube are all examples), the general acceptance of cloud-based software within the business enterprise seems to have reached a point where more IT influencers consider the technology mature enough for adoption.”

Technology pro Mike Catalfamo’s blog at eBridge –

According to one survey, “96 percent of IT decision makers are as confident or more confident in cloud computing being enterprise ready now than they were in 2009.”

Understandably, the acceptance and adoption of cloud-based technology into mainstream business applications is being adopted more slowly, as businesses look for a successful track record and weigh the benefits of cloud computing with the risks. After all, it is a bit of a leap of faith to host your mission-critical data on servers you don’t control but pioneers like salesforce.com have helped blaze a trail that is now 10+ years mature. Other companies such as NetSuite are looking to make cloud-based ERP systems, not just a viable but the preferred choice.

Some pretty big names made the news this year as it relates to cloud computing, including Microsoft, Dell, Oracle and Amazon. Here’s a good rundown some of the developments.

So what exactly does all of this mean? Well, it means that for some applications, the end of software you purchase, install and maintain on your internal hardware systems which is expensive beyond the tangible costs. Hardware, power, software licensing, upgrade compatibilities, integration of disparate system applications and other factors affect the total cost of ownership.

When I sat down to write this article, I realized that talking about cloud computing alone only tells half of the story. A critical component of any system today, particularly cloud-based solutions is how easily and flexible it is in its ability to interact with other systems. An application programming interface (API) is a key component in being able to integrate and share information between platforms. We will explore this more in future articles.

What are you seeing in your workplace in terms of acceptance of cloud-based business applications; is there resistance or is it being embraced?

{ 3 comments }

1 Vincent February 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Cloud hosted is the future. We made the jump 6mos ago!

2 Suzie Schaadt March 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm

added this to digg

3 Cherry March 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Great, I now know what “cloud” means.

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