The cloud has changed how people work. Cloud dynamics have brought enterprise-class technology and services to the masses. Its biggest impact is being felt by small and medium-sized businesses. There is no longer the need for large upfront capital expenditures to reap the benefits of technology.

New cloud solutions come to market every day. Understanding which solutions offer long-term value that warrant the investment of time and money depends on your particular needs. There are, however, several solutions that most organizations can utilize right away to see productivity and service level gains.

Business Continuity Cloud Solutions

Data has become one of the most valuable assets that a company owns. Protecting that data from hardware failures, human error, and natural disasters is now a must for organizations. The cloud, with its economies of scale, makes backing up and retrieving data easier than ever.

In the past, comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) was cost prohibitive for many small and medium-sized businesses. Creating a duplicate data center at a remote location has been difficult to manage and hard to justify. The cloud can make true DR a reality. Servers can be duplicated and ready to run in the case of a catastrophic event to your data center.

Hosted Email

Email is a business-critical application, but that does not mean that it needs to be managed in-house. In many cases, email is best managed by a specialist. Service level agreements improve while costs go down. By sending email to the cloud, it frees up administration costs, including user management, malware appliance patches, and server maintenance.

The dynamics of cloud storage also provide for potentially larger mailboxes, reducing the time that end users spend managing their inbox. Those same storage cost benefits also apply to archival. Many industries are required to maintain email copies for several years. This is an ideal application for affordable cloud storage.

Hosted Servers

Many small and medium-sized companies maintain servers onsite. These machines are frequently running mission-critical applications. If users are not able to access the applications and data that run on them, their productivity can slow to a halt.

The cloud has introduced us to safe and secure hosted servers. These servers are managed by a team of IT professionals who help ensure that your systems run at optimum performance. Patches and updates are applied in a timely manner and keep things secure. And because the servers are hosted in a data center, they can be accessed by remote team members if there is an outage at the office.