Small businesses make up a vast majority of organizations throughout the world. Often times, though, they struggle to compete with larger businesses due to tight budgets and fewer resources. However, cloud computing is beginning to level the playing field by giving these companies a cost-effective tool to handle data. As ITProPortal​'s James Laird explained, small- and medium-sized businesses would be wise to leverage an infrastructure-as-a-service cloud for business processes.

Traditional costs regarding labor, compliance risks and productivity have placed small businesses at a disadvantage in the past, as they have significantly fewer resources at their disposal. However, the sheer wealth of cost-effective features offered by cloud service providers has helped SMBs stay competitive in their respective marketplaces.

"The development and adoption of cloud services over the past few years means that small and midsized organizations are now able to rent workforce management solutions and enterprise-grade infrastructure just as easily as their larger competitors," wrote Laird.

Not only does deploying a cloud solution reduce the amount of time and money invested in IT resources, it also allows the company to become more flexible, as it is able to scale up or down based on current needs.

Security to act as enabler, not hindrance in cloud
However, many businesses, both small and large, may have reservations about moving to the cloud because of security issues. One such concern is the belief that cloud security solutions prevent them from getting the most out of their deployments. But, as Data Center Knowledge contributor Bill Kleyman pointed out, newer services are actually helping the cloud grow.

"Next-generation security is evolving to directly support cloud computing," wrote Kleyman. "To help with this heavy lifting, security organizations need to adapt their technologies to the workloads of the cloud."

Kleyman listed some of these new cloud security innovations that can help improve cloud productivity:

  • Cloud policies: Comprehensive plans that include both in-house systems and mobile devices and services can control data that is coming in and going out to smartphones or tablets.
  • Virtualization: Platforms now reside in the virtual world, not just in the physical world, which offers companies a whole new layer of protection.
  • Next-gen security measures: Advanced technologies can security services along with data and applications to provide agility.
  • Physical hardware upgrades: New innovations in these technologies, such as 10​-gigabit Ethernet cards that increase processing power, can expand security possibilities.