How Cloud Computing Evens The Playing Field

The cloud gives small businesses a new mobility and flexibility, especially with the growing use of portable devices.



How Cloud Computing Evens The Playing Field

What is the Cloud?

Cloud computing is essentially receiving automation services (business computing software, data backup, server configuration, etc.) over the Internet. Small or medium-sized businesses who opt for cloud-based computer services can compete on more of an even keel with the “big boys” because of what the cloud has and does not have: (1) it gives access to a higher level of expertise, and (2) it avoids much of the costs associated with local equipment and software maintenance.

What are the advantages of the Cloud?

Advantages for small businesses

The cloud has come into vogue with the SBA (Small Business Authority). The SBA is “firmly convinced that cloud computing is not just a phrase or marketing device but is the future for small to medium-sized businesses IT systems. As much as it saves money and creates efficiency for large business, the benefits for small businesses are and will be much greater.”

Server reliability

Cloud computing makes local servers more dependable and less vulnerable to disaster. Your local physical server is exposed and lots of bad things can happen – natural disaster, data loss through error or malicious hacking, etc. Going to the cloud can improve your survivability and chances for quick recovery.


Enhanced mobility

Cloud connectivity is gaining popularity on mobile devices. The growing use of tablets and smartphones and portable devices like handheld printers gives the small business a new mobility and flexibility. Small business can accept payments through wonderful gizmos like credit card swipers where the goods are delivered.

IT cost savings: a significant “playing field leveler”…

A few years ago the Microsoft Corporation did a survey on customer attitudes and acceptance of cloud computing.  In a classic example of “Try it. You’ll like it!” survey responders who used cloud services reported the following benefits:

  • a savings of 26 percent in their IT budgets.
  • a reduction in security management time of 18 hours per week.
  • a decrease in security financial expenditures by five to six times over a three-year period.

Security, agility and competitiveness

Finally, cloud users responding to the Microsoft survey reported that “Improved security, agility and competitiveness and better scalability” were significant selling points for getting outside cloud services. Scalability means that the services can grow with the company without the increased costs of software, equipment and IT staff. As company business and income grows, the money previously dedicated to IT can be spent on things that are the primary generators of income.

Specialized SaaS products and leaner servers

So small business can enter the competitive fray of competition with more robust and cost-effective cloud computing services. The small business can take advantage of specialized online business software, SaaS, or software as a service, and backup services without having to undergo the learning curve and coping with upgrades and server maintenance issues. The IT staff can also concentrate on keeping the local equipment and servers leaner and much more efficient.

Extended hardware life

The Cloud extends the life of your equipment–computers, servers, routers–through the first cousin of SaaS: IaaS, or infrastructure as a service. Gone are the back-room hodgepodge of blinking lights, spaghetti-wired and energy hogging servers requiring constant TLC and upgrading. In the leapfrog contest between software and hardware, the software frequently outpaces local efforts to keep pace. With IaaS on the Cloud, that burden is shifted to the service provider.

In the meantime, you need reliable equipment service and repair

Windows 10 is here and has its own SaaS office platform offers a nice array of business support applications. To take advantage of all that, your equipment needs to be up, working and online 24/7. Downtime is not an option, and when it occurs it is costly. Want to learn more about our Raleigh computer repair service and options? Contact us.

4 Simple Tips for Small Business Wireless Security

4 Simple Tips for Small Business Wireless Security

It is an unfortunate fact that many businesses do not take wireless security, or digital security in general, as serious as they should. It is a credible threat to any business and can have lasting effects on your company should an invasion take place. Luckily, there are some very basic steps that any small business can take to improve their wireless security and ensure that no unwanted breaches take place.

1. Make Use of the Security Options

There are a number of security options available with any router that can be enabled to improve the security of your wireless network. The first and most important security option is choosing the right security protocol. All new routers allow you to use WEP, WPA or WPA2 security protocols, each with their own set of benefits. Additionally, these protocols have “Personal” and “Enterprise” options available on most routers, with the Enterprise protocols offering higher levels of security, suitable for businesses.

2. Enable WPA-Personal Security

For businesses that have Wi-Fi networks that are only secured with WEP or have no wireless security in place, the best first step is to enable WPA-Personal security. When you enable WPA-Personal, you will be prompted to create a passphrase for the router and additional access points. This can be done by typing in your IP address to access the router and going to the “Security” settings page.

3. Separate Wi-Fi for Non-Employees and Guests

Although it seems like common knowledge, many businesses do not have a separate Wi-Fi enabled for guests. You should never allow an unfamiliar person to access your private Wi-Fi network. Instead, providing a guest wi-fi network with additonal security measures in place will help to keep your network safe.

4. Train Employees on Best Practices

One of the most common ways for an unwanted party to enter your network without permission is with the help of an employee who doesn’t fully understand how harmful this access can be. Make sure your employees are trained to never hand out the Wi-Fi password to unknown parties and know the best practices for keeping your network safe.

If you would like to learn more about how your business could benefit form increased network security, please contact us today to receive your initial consultation.365 × 242

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