Cloud partnerships introduce new opportunities

Businesses are reaching out to new partnerships in an effort to provide employees with more sophisticated solutions without dramatically increasing the budget. Many of these endeavors are leading decision-makers to work with cloud computing vendors that have the ability to provide organizations with third-party infrastructures, applications and other critical services.

A recent Smart Business Network Online report highlighted how the cloud market is rapidly expanding due to the fact that it is leveling the playing field. When the cloud first emerged, executives from firms of all sizes initially thought the technology was designed for enterprises alone. Now that companies have become more familiar with the cloud, they are realizing that even small businesses can experience substantial results from utilizing the solutions.

"The cloud brings a tsunami of cost-effective IT to the small business's front door," cloud expert Kevin O'Toole told SBN Online. "But it does bring two challenges with it. You have to pick the right partners, adopt the right technology and have good support."

O'Toole also said that the majority of companies are now adopting the cloud, making it more important than ever that IT directors embrace the cloud successfully if their firms are to stay competitive.

Small businesses and the cloud
In the past, small organizations used to have difficulty adopting sufficient IT services that weren't expensive or insecure. Now smaller firms can deploy a cost-effective and safe cloud infrastructure, allowing employees to take advantage of advanced applications from virtually anywhere without worrying about introducing new vulnerabilities, SBN Online noted.

Cloud services enable decision-makers to prioritize their future and the core of their business: growth. A CDW study of more than 1,200 IT professionals revealed that roughly 39 percent of respondents are either implementing or maintaining cloud services, up from 28 percent in 2011.

"By aligning cloud services with critical applications and preferences of employees that use mobile devices, organizations can better capture business value that includes cost savings, increased efficiency, improved employee mobility and an increased ability to create innovative new products and services," said Stephen Braat of CDW.

Working with an experienced and trusted cloud service provider enables businesses of all sizes to implement a suite of hosted technologies that can augment current operations at a lower cost. This is especially important for small organizations that often have a more difficult time staying competitive with larger enterprises.

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