A small business relies on a broad range of technology for daily operations, but it doesn’t have the same IT resources as international companies. The customer base has high expectations of every company’s capabilities, and they don’t stop to think about the fact that they might not even have full-time IT staff on-hand. They just want a seamless and modern experience, and if an organization can’t deliver it then they’re off to the competition. So what can small businesses do?
Where Infrastructure as a Service Fits In
Many companies are familiar with cloud computing technology through Software as a Service, or SaaS applications such as Gmail, Evernote or Slack. These apps are hosted and maintained by their developers, so all employees need to do is log in to start using them. The small business doesn’t have to deploy the software to workstations, invest money in software development or apply updates.
Now think about the company’s servers, data storage and development environments. Businesses strive to keep their customers happy, but trying to manage enterprise-level technology on their own far exceeds in-house capacities and expertise. In that situation, an organization essentially takes a smart car and attempts to race at the Indy 500. Small businesses can’t keep up with that crowd and end up looking worse than when they started.
Smaller companies don’t face a hopeless dilemma, thanks to IaaS. They can put part or all of their backend infrastructure into the cloud with this service. Much like cloud-based SaaS applications, IaaS gives everyone access to innovative technology without the expense of procuring and maintaining high-end equipment. There are many uses for this backend configuration, from improving the responsiveness of web-based applications to improving data security.
IaaS Benefits for Small Businesses
One of the main benefits of IaaS is its cost-effectiveness. Small businesses avoid many direct and indirect costs associated with their backends. Hardware and software, maintenance, monitoring and administration expenses are handled by the vendor.
Small businesses don’t usually plan for rapid growth. If the company handled its IT needs on its own, it would need to pay a premium to increase the available resources. If the demand goes down, the organization has a lot of equipment on its hands that are no longer in use. IaaS gets around this problem by scaling up and down based on current needs, allowing small businesses to take advantage of market opportunities.
The flexible development environment offered in IaaS helps speed up the time to market for products and web-based applications. Companies can quickly provision what they need to support their efforts, which allows them to focus on their business growth rather than worrying about the underlying infrastructure.
Many web applications are mission critical for small businesses, and downtime can cause considerable setbacks. Small businesses may take a long time to track down the problems. In IaaS, the vendors proactively work on any issues, stay on top of necessary upgrades and maintain a reliable system.
Smaller companies no longer need to allocate too much of their budgets in an attempt to keep up with enterprise-level infrastructure. IaaS brings the same equipment and benefits to any size company. The organization gets to focus on growing its product line, services and customer base, while the IaaS vendor takes care of the backend details.