Sometimes numbers speak louder than words when persuading UK and US Small-to-medium-sized-businesses (SMEs) that cloud-computing can save them cold, hard cash, time AND deliver a simpler operating environment.
“We saved over $4000 in up-front costs by moving to an entirely cloud-based solution for e-mail, Web hosting and virus protection,” said an IT leader in a recent PC Mag article.
“We were also able to substantially reduce our power bill and the costs needed to maintain and upgrade hardware.”
Cloud collaboration software in the form of SharePoint Server and email cloud software in the shape of Microsoft Exchange are two variants of hosted virtualized infrastructure that help an SME scale in ways not possible on an on-premise platform.
PC Mag reports that 100 or fewer employees spent around $2.4 billion on cloud computing services in 2010 alone. This number is probably much higher in 2011 and set to reach record levels in 2012.
Centralizing your critical email and intranet systems in the cloud not only saves you money, it also gives IT executives piece of mind. One interviewee in the PC Mag article above reported that a recent power surge nearly destroyed their in-house e-mail server.
“Had we not recovered it, a great deal of historical knowledge and valuable information would have been lost forever, not to mention the lost productivity for days or weeks. Now we have a secure, redundant, cloud e-mail system we can access anywhere, anytime, with a consistent interface, and it’s made our business stronger.”
But despite these success stories and accolades poured on cloud computing, UK SMEs may be taking their sweet time in adopting Internet-based software made available through Infrastructure-as-a-Service hosting providers such as Virtual Internet.
The Telegraph reports that a recent European survey indicates that the UK trails Europe by 12% in adopting on-demand cloud services in the form of hosted business software such as Exchange and SharePoint.
“The UK appears to be lagging behind the rest of Europe with the survey of 1,600 companies by VMware finding that on average 60pc of SMEs had adopted some internet-based IT compared to only 48pc in the UK,” said The Telegraph.
VMware software in the form of Enterprise private and public clouds powers Virtual Internet’s cloud computing infrastructure which allows an SME to launch self-healing websites along with the ability to independently scale resources (RAM, CPU and Disk Space) up or down, in a matter of minutes at lower operating and capital costs.
“The most common service used by SMEs was storing data remotely rather than on the office server or PC hard drives. Email and office software, like word processing and spreadsheets, were the most common software applications to be accessed from the cloud rather than installed directly,” said PC Mag.
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