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    Small businesses seeing stellar results from cloud computing

    For small businesses who need all the advantages they can get, the cloud can be the reinforcement they need to hold their own in today's fast-paced, data-driven landscape.

    Given what is known about the benefits that cloud computing brings to businesses across the board, it's no surprise that it is nearing the point of ubiquity. A recent study by Right Scale found that nearly 90 percent of all businesses are utilizing cloud-based solutions in some capacity. This is highly indicative that cloud computing delivering on its promises.

    As was said at the Amazon Web Services re:invent Conference, the cloud is the new normal. Cost savings, agility, scalability, efficiency – all of these were once considered benefits of the cloud, but today, they are expectations. And for small businesses who need all the advantages they can get, the cloud can be the reinforcement they need to hold their own in today's fast-paced, data-driven landscape.

    Where are small businesses seeing results?
    Customer service is the backbone of all business. Businesses with poor customer service are likely to fail even if their products are actually of high quality. According to VentureBeat, the cloud is helping small businesses bolster their customer service efforts through cost savings. The publication reported that 70 percent of small business owners report using the cost savings from eschewing on-premise IT to invest in their customer service capabilities. Much of the cost savings come from scalability – a staple of cloud computing that allows businesses to pay for what they use instead of a one-size-fits-all solution.

    Perhaps even more surprising is that small business owners are starting to see the cloud as a more secure choice for their data and workflows. For many years, the cloud was unable to shake the perception that it was less secure than on-premise data centers. VentureBeat looked at research from Alert Logic and found that the cloud security company found that there is no evidence to suggest that the cloud is unsafe. In fact, the research showed that brute force attacks are 30 percent more common for on-premise data centers.

    Why one small business went straight to the cloud
    As the Financial Post reported, Diply, a London, Ontario-based user-generated content sharing platform knew that the cloud would be essential for the company's growth strategy in its early stages.

    "We went to cloud services from the outset, because it allowed us to start small and scale quickly as we built our success. We couldn't meet the demand we have today without cloud," said Gary Manning, Diply's chief technology officer and co-founder.

    Manning knew the cost of hosting his own IT infrastructure and hiring people to manage it would have been too onerous for the fledgling business. The ease of use and cost savings from the cloud allowed him to invest in growing the business rather than maintaining costly equipment and personnel.