How The Cloud Helps Your Small Business Use Big Software

This article excerpt, by Rick Delgado, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/1t5xLAP 
Putting the cloud to work can help small businesses step up their game and use big software, making them more competitive, scalable, and ready to automate and decentralize IT. Small businesses no longer have to feel like they don’t have what it takes to compete with their larger competitors.
Competitiveness
Cloud technology makes it possible for small businesses to compete with larger organizations around the world. Cloud services provide a platform for businesses to operate more efficiently by using software at a lower cost. Access to business software and other applications on the cloud is made possible through monthly service fees. If a company no longer sees an improvement on the bottom line with current software in place, the cloud makes it easy to transition to the latest versions of every application it needs to succeed.
The cloud delivers software on tap providing the capability to rapidly build and deploy applications in order to compete with rival enterprises. As the cloud grows, better technology and faster response times will be available, making it easier for industries to get what they want whenever they want it. Small businesses will be able to see enterprise level applications made available, taking their operations to the next level.
Scalable
Small businesses taking advantage of opportunities presented by the cloud can take advantage of scalability features. Cloud computing allows businesses to easily upscale or downscale IT requirements when needed. Most cloud service providers will allow enterprises to increase existing resources to cater to increased business needs or adjustments. Through cloud computing, business growth can be supported without expensive changes to current IT systems.
Companies can also rely on managed data centers, where there are cloud experts trained in scaling and maintaining private, hybrid, and shared clouds. IT using cloud computing have discovered the quick and easy allocation of resources in a monitored environment where overuse is never a problem if the system is managed properly. Platforms like OpenStack and CloudStack make it possible for small businesses to create fluid cloud environments capable of scalability.
Decentralization of IT
Industry experts are predicting the decentralization of IT due to the combination of cloud, mobility, and M2M (machine-to-machine) technologies as IT will become core to every business function including finance and accounting. Departments within an enterprise will no longer go to IT for help but IT will approach departments individually. The focus for IT will be on developing tools for process enablement with the goal of empowering employees and customers. Lines of business and staff functions will take the lead role in engaging and deploying the cloud due to control, cost value, deployment speed, flexibility, and big data analysis advantages. Agility will increase in cloud computing, leading small businesses to see a decrease in expenses and an increase in productivity.
Automation
New software available through the cloud is leading small businesses to see an increase in more end users, more devices, and more data being pushed through. As a result, the use of data centers has increased, leading to greater automation of cloud computing within small businesses. Small businesses are looking towards big data management solutions like Hadoop to monitor workloads, understand how data is distributed, and the health of cloud infrastructure. These options for cloud computing make it possible to deploy a true private cloud, giving small businesses as much control as they need.
The stresses that come from business responsibilities like invoicing and inbound marketing management can be handled by applications available on the cloud. Putting low priority tasks on autopilot allows small business owners to focus on mission-critical tasks and the bottom line.