Towards a blue sky: How SMEs can avoid Cloud Computing confusion

Beginning a series of content in the lead up to the Business Cloud Summit in London on 27 November, Max Meiklejohn outlines how small businesses can cut through Cloud Computing jargon and find the best model for their business.

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Cloud Computing is a widely touted phrase and SMEs are often bombarded with the latest solutions and offerings. The benefits of cloud computing may be well documented at a top level, but with shrinking IT budgets, it is imperative that organisations know the ins and outs of the service they are about to buy in to.

All too often, that is interpreted as an even longer list of vague benefits with little tangible meaning, but how do SMEs know what the best service is for them? The answer isnt always simple, so to avoid cloud confusion, this article provides a breakdown of the various cloud models and their inherent challenges and benefits.

Public versus private clouds:The obvious choice?

The most common model for SMEs is a public cloud, located off-site and managed by a service provider, which relieves the IT department of having to manage storage and computing resources as well as reducing its liability in terms of maintenance and repair. In general, public clouds are more cost effective for smaller organisations when compared to a private cloud, simply because deploying a private cloud is typically hosted on the premises of the organisation and is managed and maintained by the IT department in-house.

Large enterprises with complex IT requirements may consider deploying their own private cloud, but for SMEs simply looking to streamline storage and communication, it is often overkill. Furthermore, if an organisation requires an application on a temporary basis, deploying through a public cloud negates the need to buy additional equipment that will only be used for a short period of time.

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Towards a blue sky: How SMEs can avoid Cloud Computing confusion

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