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  • Even small, local shops are embracing the cloud

    The fact that small businesses and startups can use cloud computing is a reason behind the technology's overall success. Local stores without robust IT departments can still take advantage of similar functionality found within large enterprises without wasting resources on on-site equipment that may never be used to full capacity.

    A new brand that can enter a market fast is essential for establishing a presence right out of the gate. Since management tasks are outsourced to the cloud vendor, customers can go about their business and focus on the finer details of hopefully generating short- and long-term success. Should a company need additional resources, the service provider can add such functionality quickly and easily without disruption.

    CNBC recently highlighted how some small businesses have benefited from cloud-based environments. Corning, New York-based Tough Pups – a pet daycare and training facility, relies on the technology for all types of purposes, including bookkeeping. Leo Sanders, founder of the company, receives payroll alerts directly to his phone.

    "I don't have a lot of time to sit down and dedicate specific blocks of time to do certain tasks – it can be very disruptive to my day," Sanders told the news provider. "When it comes to companies that almost automate tasks like this, it levels the playing field."

    If more small companies like Tough Pups embrace the cloud, the global industry may reach even greater heights than current projections, which are still impressive in of themselves. Gartner believes 33 percent of organizations relying on office solutions will implement the cloud in some capacity by 2017, up from only 8 percent in 2013. By 2022, this percentage could achieve 60 percent penetration, totaling nearly 700 million end-users and annual investments exceeding $400 billion, CNBC reported.

    Startups can hit the ground running
    Entrepreneurs looking for ways to quickly get their shops up and going may not have a better solution than cloud computing. The technology's affordability, flexibility and accessibility make the service ideal for any type of business. A joint survey of 1,300 U.S. and U.K, organizations conducted by Rackspace, Manchester Business School and Vanson Bourne discovered nearly 90 percent of adopters experienced the cloud's cost advantages. Another 56 percent generated revenue and 49 percent increased operations.

    Brian Nicholson of the Manchester Business School noted how valuable the cloud is, especially among startups.

    "Cloud computing is heralding a boon for startups at a time when they are most needed. By making high-end computing resources available on flexible payment terms at the push of a button we are significantly reducing the level of investment required to set up shop," Nicholson said.

    First-time adopters can't rush or wait too long
    Companies that have not integrated cloud services into their operations should not rush to do so. Businesses that do not do their due diligence when comparing the available cloud solutions on the market and the vendors offering these services will not make the most informed decision pertaining to their unique needs.

    However, while firms cannot rush the implementation process, they should not wait too long to get onboard the cloud bandwagon. As each year passes, more organizations launch cloud environments. In a few years, those not relying on the technology may be in the vast minority, struggling to keep pace in their respective markets.

    Few technologies are available to the masses. Cloud computing fits this bill. First-time adopters that want to get their implementation right the first time can use migration solutions and conduct thorough testing to determine the best fit for their companies.

    The post Even small, local shops are embracing the cloud appeared first on RISC Networks.