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  • Cloud computing cost-efficient for many businesses

    While cloud computing is a relatively new term in the world's ever-growing list of technical jargon, the benefits that businesses see from moving to the cloud are already well recognized.

    Cloud computing helps many businesses cut down on IT headaches.It can be easy for companies to get lost in the vast fields of information technology, but cloud computing helps dissipate the headaches stemming from IT problems, instead allowing someone else to take control of a company's infrastructure. While large corporations - such as J.P. Morgan - typically possess their own private data centers, mid-sized companies rent data space.

    On the other hand, small businesses usually store data centers on site.

    "When businesses keep their data in a data center, they are basically buying space - then they have to buy their own equipment, pay for networking, power and cooling, electricity and have a contract in place - as you can imagine, the costs add up," said Kevin Schatzle, the CEO of dinCloud, according to Mashable. Schatzle's dinCloud is a firm that helps companies move over to the cloud.

    Schatlze said businesses must also account for the cost of paying someone to manage IT operations, along with costs for routine maintenance and upgrade fees.

    Here are a few tips to saving your business money by moving to the cloud.

    1. Lower your energy costs. A cloud service provider can cut your energy costs by getting rid of your own data center. According to WebRoot, cloud computing uses less electricity through a more efficient use of power. Data centers are rarely ever fully deployed, leaving many servers idle and wasting power for extended periods of time.
    2. Cloud-based applications. Kevin O'Brien, an enterprise solution architect for CloudLock, a cloud security company, told Mashable that employees can find cloud-based applications that can improve efficiency.

      "An often overlooked benefit from an organizational move to the cloud is how employees can often find, 'install' and use third party applications that are not reliant upon centralized IT research or investment," O'Brien said.

      O'Brien noted that cloud providers that permit third-party apps, such as Google, can "leverage their authentication and data storage features" with an immense return on investment.

      "By letting users freely identify, test and use applications that work for them and meet practical needs, the most efficient and effective apps will emerge, and costs associated with purchasing and supporting multiple different solutions to common problems will fall by the wayside," O'Brien added.
    3. Cloud computing can reduce errors. A leader in the education industry, ICEF GmbH credits FinancialForce, accounting software on the cloud, for increasing its revenue, according to Financial Systems News.

      Prior to using FinancialForce, the ICEF GmbH administration battled to keep up with business demands. Employees working remotely had no access to customer account history or current issues, and invoices were filled with mistakes.

      "The cloud means that the finance function and around 20 sales personnel can view account history on-demand from anywhere in the world," Jibran Sarfraz, the finance director at ICEF GmbH, told Financial Systems News. "And it's easy to use as well. We can give the software to new employees and they become familiar with it very quickly without lots of training because the user interface is so easy to understand."
    4. Lowering the cost of staff. Having an astute IT person on staff can become costly after salary and benefits. Moving to the cloud can save a business money when comparing the cost of paying a service provider to the cost of paying an IT professional.