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                  In the midst of technological advancement and a drastically changing economy, even IT resources have been growing and expanding. Companies in need of business solutions are now provided with a lot of options available in the market. From traditional mechanisms and the use of desktop applications for business, the onset of the Internet has changed how businesses operate. 

One of these notable changes is the use of web-based applications and “Cloud Computing”. Corporations and even small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are now interested into systems and services launched via “the cloud”. But what’s with this cloud computing, anyway?

According to Vangie Beal (2016) cloud computing is a kind of Internet based-computing that involves sharing of resources rather than owning a local server or application.  This is anchored on what we normally call as “the cloud” which is a metaphor for the Internet. It run applications for storing data or delivering certain services online. (Webopedia,2016)

Undeniably, growing businesses like SMEs are slowly creating the shift to business cloud solutions. Here are some of the top reasons why cloud computing is perfect for SMEs.

  • Cost & Time-saver

              If you are an SME owner, cloud computing can be a best investment for it can help in cost reduction. In the long run as your business grows, business processes might be complex and the amount of your data would be increasing as well as your customers. Thus, it is wise to venture into cloud computing which can help you support our growing needs.

Yes, instead of buying a lot of hardware like servers, why not use “the cloud” which gives you a more flexible and justifiable cost?  This is far cheaper rather than purchasing a lot of hardware and software which also need manpower for installing and running the application on every computer. Take note, the maintenance cost would also increase since you need to update it every now then. Cloud computing providers can do the work for you, they can manage the license, update and support your needs.

  • Accessibility & Flexibility

                  Since cloud computing runs via the Internet, most of its applications can run smoothly on different devices.  For SMEs nowadays, most of the marketing strategies and even transactions are done online. With e-commerce launched on cloud computing, you can ensure that you always have your data and the list of your clients without the hassle of going back to your office just to run your business. It is accessible anytime and anywhere as long as you have Internet connection. This gives businesses an avenue to be flexible and productive since your data and business transactions are easy to access and always available.

  • Speed & Performance

           What makes cloud computing so great is the idea that in just a click, you can now easily access or do the transaction that you want. This elicits faster communication and performance for businesses. Email, web, e-commerce and other services have become easier and convenient via cloud computing. You also don’t need to worry about the upgrading of the application since it is launched with the latest computing hardware.

  • Storage and Back-up

           SME owners need not to worry about large amount of data.  Cloud computing is as reliable as it is. Back-up and recovery of files will always be secured via the multiple sites on the cloud’s provider network. This eliminates the hassle of using a hardware or data center which is tedious and timely to manage. Imagine migrating thousands of files and updating such via a local server. With the use of cloud, you can ensure that your data is replicated on a secured site which prevents total data loss.

  • Collaboration and Partnership         

          SMEs with business partners and growing branches can have a competitive advantage over cloud computing. The data and even office processes are now launched online which can forge better marketing strategies and collaboration online. You can work and access the data even if you are in a different branch or location. Employees can upload and share files instantly online.

  • Integration & Security Protocol

          Data integration is so much more organized and fun with the use of cloud computing. Start-up businesses can actually support their back-office operations with online applications or a centralized system launched via the cloud. You can also ensure that your data is protected since cloud computing adheres to strict and high levels of security.

 

        These are just some of the reasons why SMEs should definitely try cloud computing. This gives them the avenue to maximize their business potentials and reach their targets. With the availability of Internet, SMEs can easily launch their businesses easier without buying costly infrastructure and hiring a lot of people. If you want to try how cloud computing works, there are a lot of trials available online which can help you discover more about cloud computing.

Who knows? This might bring you more business success in the long run.

 

 

Reference: Vangie Beal (2016). Cloud Computing Retrieved from:http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/cloud_computing.html

Image Source: http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/user-experience-with-a-laptop_847126.htm#term=cloud computing&page=1&position=1

Published in Software Development
Monday, 05 September 2016 11:01

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) 101

                            

               

             Do you love to use different kinds of software that you do not store (or partially store) in your device, whether it be paid or on a free basis?  Chances are you may have used a Software-as-a-Service or SaaS.

Before, we always perceive software as a “product” or something that we can buy in the form of a CD and install in our computers. But now, with the concept of SaaS, it is also considered as a service or subscribed software.

Apparently, this is very different from our normal notion looking at software as a product that we normally purchase. Do you still remember the days when you asked your mom to buy you a CD of Sims? Maybe, a CD of Encarta Encyclopedia or Jumpstart which you happily installed on your computer?

Indeed, with the emergence of the Internet, things have really changed. We can now even watch and stream our favorite movies online or listen to our music playlist online. We don’t really need to buy a CD just to have that software. If you want, you can still do it but if you know about the idea of free download or even SaaS, I bet you’ll think twice!

What is SaaS?

SaaS is also known as an “on-demand software” or a a delivery model for software usage. SaaS is defined as “a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).” (Techtarget, 2016) The idea is that users can access software applications over the Internet. Yes, even the apps or games in Facebook, Google, Yahoo are considered as forms of SaaS. Other examples of SaaS are Salesforce, Evernote, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and even some variants of Microsoft Office 365.

This is also commonly used by a lot of companies and institutions especially if they need a particular software, application or hosting online. SaaS works with the idea of “renting” or “subscribing” rather than purchasing. Are you familiar with companies online who are offering an Accounting software, Payroll Management System or hosting for a specific period of time with a certain amount of money? That’s exactly an example of SaaS. Sometimes companies are required to pay on a monthly basis and they can just upgrade the version for an additional cost if they wanted to. More likely, the files are saved via the cloud so they can access it with the use of the Internet.

What are the benefits of using SaaS?

  • Justifiable & Flexible Price

Using SaaS can give you the option to subscribe and run an application for a specific period of time. This means that the payment terms are also flexible because you have the option to use it for 2-3 months or more. You can extend it or not so there’s really no harm in trying it. In this way, you will not waste so much money just in case you didn’t like the application or if it is not efficient for your business operations. It’s like just paying for the service that you actually use. There are no hardware costs or initial costs as well. If you want to stop using the software, you just need to stop the subscription and you are done.

  • Compatibility Wise

SaaS is very flexible in terms of the devices where the applications run. Since it works via the Internet, all applications can be accessed through different devices. You can use mobile phones, tablets or an Ipad so it is much easier to use SaaS than buying a CD at the mall and installing it on your laptop. A CD is just compatible to your laptop and specific operating systems and not on your other devices.

  • Upgraded Versions & Customization

One amazing thing about using SaaS is that you can upgrade it anytime for an additional cost as well. Aside from purchasing a CD most of the applications are limited to the version that you purchased. If you want another, you have to buy again. But with SaaS as long as you subscribed with the current version, you can just pay an additional cost to improve it or add other plug ins. Some companies are offering custom-fit solutions so they can adjust the app to suit your needs. Other companies are giving free updates as well.

  • Accessible Any Time & Anywhere Via the Internet

Since most of the data are stored via the cloud, most of the applications as SaaS can be accessed at any location and time as long as there is an Internet connection. This is far different from other software which can just run with a CD or where you have installed it. But in the event that you forgot it, you don’t have the means to access your files.

  • Easy to Use, No Complexities

Most of the people today are tech savvy. In just a snap it feels like they have digital cells in their body. Thus, all the more they want to access things instantly. This is the reason why SaaS is a trend because the applications are easy to use. Just point and click. Using SaaS can minimize hardware and software management issues

These are just some of the few benefits of using SaaS. I might not be surprised if you can even think of a barrel of reasons why you love SaaS or why you want to try it.

In the end, there’s more to unfold behind this concept and what matters most is how it can actually make lives easier. We don’t know what lies ahead so in the future SaaS or another might be the next big thing!

 

References:

Tech Target Online Website.(September 5,3026). Software as a Service Retrieved from: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/Software-as-a-Service

Interoute Online Website. (September 5,2016) Software as a Service Retrived from: http://www.interoute.com/what-saas

Image Source: http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/hands-with-application-icons_928590.htm#term=cloud computing&page=1&position=3

 

                     

Published in Software Development

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