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Cloud Computing: Why it Makes Sense for Small Business

iStock_000004213862XSmallNewtek recognizes a key piece of working with SMBs is owning the responsibility of making sure that all of our customers, regardless of their current engagement type (product or service with Newtek), all have access to critical information that could make a difference to their Company’s short and long term success.

Over the next few days, we will focus on Cloud Computing – with our aim being to effectively share critical information about the subject and present it in such a way that our most “tech-challenged” or “-savvy” reader can garner some precious jewels that could definitively improve both their understanding, and more importantly, their ability to conduct business more efficiently and cost effectively.

For those whose heads are pretty much “in the clouds” when it comes to “The Cloud” let’s take a brief moment to explain (tech aficionados, just hang in there for a sec). While there are dozen terms used to explain it in the media like, “grid, peer-to-peer, distributed, on-demand, cluster, utility, virtualization, and software as a service,” let’s try to keep it simple. The Cloud refers to end-users connecting to applications that run on a set of shared servers, rather than a dedicated server. In contrast to client-server computing from the last 30 years where each application was assigned to a specific piece of hardware in a datacenter, cloud computing enables end-users to connect to applications of their choice any day, any time, and on any Internet-connected device.

Got it? Congratulations – and welcome to this blog conversation. Everyone is now up to speed.

The next question we hear often (in so many words) is, “What’s the difference between Cloud Hosts?”

While many of our competitors would like to claim there is no measurable difference, such a notion could not be further from the truth. Just as our financial division has grown to become the nation’s largest non-bank SBA lender (through impeccable service and diligence), our technology division goes about business with the same devotion and commitment to excellence. What that means in terms of our available cloud technology is this: Newtek has created an incomparable cloud infrastructure, capable of addressing the needs of a single mom & pop shop, to a sophisticated international business. In short, our environment is capable of virtually anything our end user could want or need – with option ranging from Cloud VPS, Dedicated Servers, Managed Servers, Custom Solutions, and Regulatory Compliance Hosting with virtually any hosting plan imaginable – with no compromise in value, ever.

Why are we saying this? Well, to assure you that if you do decide that cloud services could benefit your small business, we wanted you to know that we can help.

Okay, back to task.

At Newtek, we realize every business is a self-contained microcosm of commerce – one completely unique to itself. By leveraging the power of cloud computing to serve your internal and external operations, virtually any small business would be a candidate.

What the Cloud really is – a cost effective way to gain versatility, without the concern of falling behind the times. With a smart Cloud solution, a small business likely does not need to maintain a hefty IT department or have the worry of costly upgrades to hardware, etc. Moreover, when it comes to a company’s employees, the Cloud gives much better accessibility to information. Sales people who are in and out can access Company information from a mobile device. Also, those organizations with off-site employees, or businesses that require high-end security or must meet rigorous compliance standards, are all business types that find The Cloud much nearer to a “dream come true” than they do “unnecessary and complicated.”

Another small business advantage to leveraging your Cloud solution – most providers are able to save multiple versions of your data. And quite frankly, inasmuch as computing is concerned; data is clearly your most important asset. Whether it is addresses, billing information, who paid, who hasn’t, marketing information, or whatever … a business must preserve its data. (And yes, your data is unequivocally safer in a datacenter like Newtek’s than a converted on-premise mop closet). Consider the added security initiatives and 24/7/365 monitoring that a company’s would receives in a datacenter fully staffed with tech pros.

And then there is the fast approaching reality that virtually every business in the near future will have a Cloud platform from which they operate. The question is definitely moving to a “when” rather than an “if” type of consideration when it comes to the Cloud.

Ready to think about its fiscal impact?

Well, a cloud solution will greatly reduce the need to purchase and maintain expensive hardware and equipment (servers, switchboards, etc.) This provides for much greater flexibility and further ensures that an operation will never be held back by outdated equipment. If your small business has plans for growth, working with a provider that is sophisticated enough to understand your goals, and can deliver you scalable storage space as needed, is much easier than continually upgrading and purchasing new equipment – along with keeping a bounty of IT employees to manage it. A Cloud solution allows a small business to stay competitive, affording the ability to your changing business needs.

Is it difficult to switch from an on-premise solution to a Cloud environment?

Good question. And if you listen to the naysayers, one could be tricked into thinking it a nightmare (quite the contrary). In fact, Newtek has a great FREE white paper “Migrating On-premise IT to the Cloud,” which will certainly get you up to speed with some invaluable information.

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