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Top Small Business Cloud Resources

Want to take your company to the next level? Using the cloud will allow you to keep all your business’s documents in one universal place so you’ll always be well connected, no matter where you go. Never again will you have to worry about leaving a file behind or accessing a colleague’s presentation in a pinch.

For many companies, regardless of size, cloud computing has completely changed the way business gets done. Even small companies can benefit from services, like cloud storage, to save money and open doors to new opportunities. If you’re thinking about using the cloud for your business, here are some of the top resources to help you tap into all of its benefits.

  • Your Web Developer/IT Professional: Depending on how you are using the cloud, a Web site developer or IT professional can be invaluable for implementing the technology for your company. After evaluating your business goals and needs, people in these fields can suggest the best apps for achieving what you want. Additionally, they can install and maintain the system, allowing you to focus on other tasks. As far as developing and managing Web sites, it's best to consult a Web developer about cloud technology, while an IT professional is probably the best person to set up private or internal clouds.
  • Managed Service Provider (MSP): Not all small businesses have the cash to hire a dedicated IT professional. If you're relying on your own expertise, an MSP can take some of the burden of managing your cloud off your shoulders. The duties of a managed service provider vary between companies, but most of them manage customers' data resources, update software and stay on top of security issues. This type of help can be priceless to business owners new to services like small business cloud storage.
  • Open Source Community: Another great resource for small business cloud computing is the open source community. You can often find comparable software or apps — like Zoho and OpenNebula — in the open source community for free or at a fraction of the price of the commercial equivalent. However, there are some disadvantages to going this route, such as steep learning curves, but it can be a good first step for businesses looking for inexpensive solutions.
  • Technology Web Sites: Whether you are new to cloud computing or a seasoned pro, bookmarking a few relevant tech sites can help you stay on top of developments in the community. A few good sites to check out are CloudAve, GigaOM, Cloud Tweaks and InfoWorld.
  • Security Specialist: A major concern of many people who leverage small business cloud is security. You can address this in several ways, including contracting a security specialist to evaluate and secure your system. Do-it-yourselfers can follow security blogs like Cloud Security Alliance and IEEE Cloud Computing for the latest information on securing networks.

Getting your business into the cloud doesn't have to be difficult. Setting aside time to investigate these resources will allow you to take full advantage of services and benefits that offer cloud storage for business.

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