Files and software can now be accessed through any computer with Internet access, completely replicating the employee's desktop.
"The model for delivering IT services for small to mid-size businesses is evolving," Eaton said. "The improvements are dramatic, and there is no need to sacrifice quality to cut costs. Through cloud computing, companies can quickly increase their current IT capabilities, feel good about using greener, more environmentally friendly technology and cut costs substantially."
Eaton offers the following tips for companies with mobile professionals:
1. Feel free to buy the smallest, coolest looking laptops, regardless of computing power. In fact, cloud computing means you can lighten your load and forgo the traveling businessman's staple laptop completely. Laptops are always a year behind desktops in computing power but that no longer matters. You can log in to your desktop from any machine, anywhere and tap into the computing horsepower of the cloud.
2. Don't be afraid to outsource your server. That server you saved a bundle on may be close at hand -- in the next room or even just a few feet from your desk -- but proximity doesn't always mean peace of mind. Cloud computing takes the worry out of server management by putting the task in the hands of experts who safely oversee your files and software, assuring your network is up and running with the latest patches and other enhancements always installed.
3. Stop fretting about security. Security can be configured with varying degrees of protection depending on your needs. Data hosting in multiple data centers -- and standard and custom disaster recovery services -- are available for businesses that need extra protection. Through economies of scale, cloud computing offers more powerful security programs and devices than the typical small to mid-size business could afford.
4. You bought a bamboo floor for the conference room. Now, carry that green theme into your IT department by consuming less power and using less equipment. Cloud computing is one of the greenest technologies available and is considerably more efficient than the solutions it replaces, saving businesses 30 to 50 percent over traditional IT offerings.
5. Improve performance with pain-free remote software and hardware upgrades. Forget about having to manually install the latest Microsoft plugin on all of the computers in your network just so you can read documents written in the most recent version of Word. With cloud computing, you will always have current applications with all applicable plugins running on remote servers equipped to get the best performance possible out of the software packages.
"Businesses that use cloud computing don't have to know or care about whether their version of Windows is updated with the latest service pack. They don't need to know the code name for Apple's next operating system or any other inside industry information that doesn't have anything to do with their core business," Eaton said. "Companies want their information technology to do what they need it to do, reliably and affordably."
Published Jul. 31, 2008— Reads 767 Copyright © 2008 SYS-CON Media. All Rights Reserved.
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