There’s a reason I’ve written so much about cloud computing (sometimes called software-as-a-service or Web-based software services).
It is one of the defining trends shaping the small business market in the 21st century. For small businesses determined to grow, yet constrained by limited finances, cloud computing brings powerful benefits. Cloud computing means you can:
- implement technology without large up-front capital costs — to get to market quickly.
- expand infrastructure quickly as your business grows, without stopping to hire new staff, buy new computer equipment, install software and get it up an running.
- be freed from the burden of managing servers, maintaining and upgrading software, and managing databases — all of those responsibilities are handled for you for a monthly, quarterly or annual fee.
But when choosing any technology solution, you probably have questions:
- how secure is my data online?
- will the vendor be around for the long haul, or suddenly stop supporting the service leaving you in the lurch?
- with so many services and vendors today, how do you choose the best one for your situation?
- how do you make one technology service “talk to” or inter-operate with other technologies you use?
To answer these and other questions — and demystify cloud computing — MyVenturePad is holding an online event you can participate in for free. Here are the details:
What: Soaring with the Cloud Virtual Summit
When: September 28, 2010 – 11:00 am Eastern (New York time)
Speakers: A strong line-up including: Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix; Deborah Farrington, a venture capitalist with StarVest Partners; Jeff Stiles of SAP; Lisa Larson of Drugstore.com; Jim O’Neill of HubSpot; and Brent Leary of CRM Essentials.
Where: This is an online event you can participate in from the comfort of your office, via the Web. Register for the Cloud Summit here.
Follow on Twitter: Use the hashtag #CloudSummit to follow the discussion on Twitter
This promises to be an event with lots of meaty information. I’ll be attending and learning — don’t miss this one.
It’s pretty amazing how powerful many of the SaaS offerings are. What used to be million-dollar customized software is now available for low monthly subscriptions (if not free). I love it.
I look forward to attend this webinar. I want to learn more about cloud computing and I can see great possibilities with using software-as-a-service in the future.
Brent Leary and I talked a bit about web based software services during my EGO podcast show on September 26.
Cloud computing is a godsend. From google docs, to webinars, websites, to online calendars. Its really improved the ability of a small business to grow and look like a big business.
Another excellent article. I never thought about it, but cloud computing is indeed a great help to small business. I use Egnyte to store edited podcasts of our Entrepreneurs Insight Radio shows virtually without cost.
Thanks for this new “Small Business Trend”.
Thanks, Kip. I hope you can attend the Summit. I think it will be valuable information.
This type of technology is certainly starting to pop up…and it’s hard to get your feet “wet” and know which one to jump into. I found one that I really like from a company called, Xamance. Xamance recently launched their new cloud computing service, Xambox Anywhere…Now, if you know anything about this type of technology, you know that you can access your docs via the web, smartphone, etc…and the Xambox Anywhere system provides all of this. It also has a smart search engine feature so finding all of my documents is really fast and simple;)
Oh, and currently-I’m subscribed to the FREE version. Yes, I said FREE. There is no contract and I can access my docs as many times and however often I want! There are of course other subscriptions, but they are all really reasonable. I’m thinking I’m going to upgrade my subscription in October to “Xambox Anywhere: Individual”.
Check out this cloud-computing technology at http://www.xambox.com
It’s pretty cool! (and remember, you can try it free with no contract!)
Good points. In regards to the question : “will the vendor be around for the long haul, or suddenly stop supporting the service leaving you in the lurch?”, always make sure to pose this question to the Cloud/SaaS software provider.
If they point you to an export functionality pre-existing in their software, this is a very good sign.
Cloud computing is a good opportunity for small businesses to start using different software for affordable cost. I`m a big fan too.
There will be a problem with choosing the right one, while the assortment grows up continually as of late.
Regarding “But when choosing any technology solution, you probably have questions.”
I would like to suggest one more criteria to add to your shopping list when choosing a new tech solution — inquire if the company offers tech support and training.
Recently I learned a new web based program for a client. Having access to free tech support and some training was critical to get the program up and running quickly for the client and staff.
The kind folks at VenturePad said that they would leave the register link up, so that you can view the archived videos – Lots of good stuff – several hours worth of 45 minute videos!
I think it is clear from this report that much more work needs to be done on a) the details of implicating cloud computing and b) the internet infrastructure as a whole. To suggest companies should buy into the concept when it is not fully formed, and is so quick to fail is unwise to say the least. Either the plan or the infrastructure has to be 100% secure to convince business owners (me included) that the “cloud” is a risk worth taking. Thanks.