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Guest Post: How to Choose the Right Cloud Services for Businesses

Today we’re happy to share a post from Deney Dentel, CEO for Nordisk Systems, Inc.  Nordisk Systems provides cloud computing infrastructure, available and accessible for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Enjoy!

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There are many reasons to make the switch to cloud services for you and your business. Not only does a cloud service provide a range of proven benefits for businesses, it is also incredibly important right now. With so many large clients offering cloud based services for their clients for the products, such as Amazon and Apple, understanding cloud computing has never been more critical. First thing is to understand what cloud computing is and what it means to your business. Cloud computing refers to the use of non-physical means to create a computing environment. For most small business owners, that means cloud computing = using the internet to run software.

When you are on the cloud you don’t spend time worrying about physical software and hardware – you can focus on your business instead. Being on the cloud also means more scalability (Need more users? Just add them!) and flexibility (Need to change something? No problem!). However, before switching to the cloud the most important thing to do is assess the role that cloud computing will play for your business. Many IT providers will give you the tools to properly assess your environment – that might include checklists, tutorials, or 3rd party consultants.

Cloud computing is broken down into categories:

  • SaaS – Software as a Service.  Also known as “on-demand software”, this is the delivery of an application or software via a network or cloud. A customer is given access to the software via the internet. Common applications and software that are considered SaaS include: email, CRM, SharePoint, Help Desk applications, and document management.
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service. IaaS is most common form of cloud based services. It refers to the delivery of computer and storage resources via a network on a cloud. Common applications that are considered IaaS includes: virtual machines, storage, servers, load balancers, and the network. This probably doesn’t mean much if you’re not an IT guy, but it can be important, especially as you grow.
  • SECaaS – Security as a Service (and probably the worst acronym ever). This is a business model that provides security management and overview of network and server devices. More and more businesses are looking for this.
  • PaaS – Platform as a service. PaaS known as the delivery of database management systems and middleware via the network.  Common PaaS services that are available from cloud providers include: Oracle, MS SQL, DB2, MS.NET and Websphere. Again, that’s probably wayyy too much jargon for business owners, but it’s something you’ll want to research as you grow larger.
The main advantages of these services depend largely on how you use them. Oftentimes they’re less expensive than alternatives – some are even free (the Google Apps suite, for example). The pricing model (usually monthly) is aligned with small businesses, so you’re not stuck with huge expenses up front. It’s also  its pay per usage so you won’t be paying for a service that is not effectively used. Most services are also fast and reliable (do your homework first though), meaning saved money and fewer headaches. As mentioned above, cloud computing services also tend to be scalable, flexible, and, well, just easier to use.  If you’re a small or medium sized business, give it a shot!

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VM Associates is a New York City based cloud computing consulting firm. We help companies transition into newer, better, smarter software. Contact us to talk about your business, the cloud, and how we might help.

Read the original blog entry...

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.

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