Cloud Business Featured Article
Cloud Lowers Business Operating Costs, Helps the EnvironmentJanuary 22, 2013
By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing
With the advent of cloud, there are many services on the market today that can replace traditional ways of conducting of business, which are both more cost effective and kinder to the environment.
Fax is one of those services. Imagine the number of reams of papers a single business might use printing fax transmissions. Internet fax, or fax over IP, has also given organizations the ability to process and send faxes over the Internet rather than using a separate phone line.
“As Internet fax is a cloud-based solution it allows users to store faxes online (similar to an email inbox but completely secure). This means that faxes are easily retrievable as they can be easily searched for in the inbox and it is a lot more eco-friendly, as documents do not need to be printed out every time they are received like you do with a manual fax machine,” explained Tom Sizer-James in a recent blog post. “The best solutions have in built security features to meet the needs of regulatory compliance.”
While there are monthly costs associated with cloud fax services, they are usually based on the volume of faxes a business typically sends and receives.
“These costs are easily covered by the savings from eliminating paper costs and by not having to pay for a separate phone line,” Sizer-James said.
Another cloud-based solution that can help businesses save time and money is cloud-based document storage. In fact, cloud storage is one of the fastest growing segments in the cloud industry. Efficiency is one of the factors driving growth in the cloud market. With businesses looking to streamline their storage efforts, cloud storage is poised for significant growth.
In fact, the global cloud market is forecast to grow from $5.6 billion in 2012 to $46.8 billion by 2013, at an estimated CAGR of 40.2 percent from 2013 to 2018, based on a new report released by MarketsandMarkets. North America commanded the largest share with 60 percent of the overall cloud storage market in 2012 at $3.4 billion, and is expected to reach $21.8 billion by 2018.
“By storing documents in a secure online archive businesses can rest assured that their documents are safe and can be easily found,” Sizer-James added. “Within an online archive documents are searchable so there is no need to rummage through endless numbers of filing cabinets and drawers to find the paper documents that you need, as they can be found in seconds via your computer.”
Cloud computing has had a tremendous effect on businesses of all sizes, but for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the impact has been especially powerful, according to Daniel Saks, president and co-CEO of AppDirect, an online marketplace that manages and provides cloud-based tools for businesses.
“Cloud computing gives small businesses access to enterprise-grade software in a much more cost-effective way. Instead of buying expensive software and infrastructure to deploy it on, SMBs can simply use software tools as a service over the Internet,” Saks explained to TMCnet in a recent interview.
But, many small businesses simply don’t know where to look for cloud-based tools. That’s where the newly launched Small Business Web Directory comes. Read more about it here.
Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically towards small to medium-sized businesses? Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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