Cloud Technologies – Innovation for Business | Business Technology

There is a lot of information around at the current time regarding innovative technology, but the biggest headline has to be the growth of cloud-based IT models, a transforming and accessible way for small businesses and new businesses to access excellent IT technology that has previously been exclusive to large businesses and organisations. Cloud technologies are simply those IT models that can be developed and accessed online making more traditional and expensive IT options a thing of the past.Top of the range IT solutions in the traditional sense, come at a price and for smaller businesses they are not a viable option. In the current economic market and a ‘spending cut’ phenomena spreading all through the country businesses are reluctant to spend excessively for IT. The downside to this reluctance is that companies can become stuck in the mud with out-dated traditional IT software that keeps them firmly fixed in traditional methods of business operation.


Now is the time for smaller businesses to realise the advantages of utilising online business systems. For instance, online accounting software is an affordable technology, requiring an inexpensive monthly installment to secure a high-end IT technology that keeps business operating smoothly. If people need convincing then the interest that Microsoft have, in developing cloud based software packages should go some way to reassure business owners. There is currently excellent cloud, online accounting systems available – so there really is no reason to hang around. As new businesses grow a simple online company accounting system is a must. Companies that do hesitate run the risk of being left behind and seeing companies utilising online IT and accounting systems, prosper.It is also exceptionally important to realise that during times of recession many people will be thinking about striking out on their own business venture, identifying gaps in the market and benefiting from those gaps using savings or redundancy payments to fund new initiatives. Online IT may not be at the forefront of their minds, neither may recording the company accounts other than in terms of more traditional methods of book-keeping. It is essential that the profile of online technology and particularly online accounting software is heightened to ensure success for these new small businesses.Even people striking up on their own and not thinking of employing others should take the initiative and seriously consider online IT solutions and business accounting technologies. Software that is accessible 24/7 from any computer with an Internet connection, peace of mind regarding security in terms of login and backups and online up to the minute correct data (no need for time consuming software updates and downloads) has got to be ‘great for business’.


BASDA (Business Application Software Developers Association) Special Interests Group is also backing and recommending cloud initiatives and there is lots of advice around regarding the successful setting up of a new business, including information from the Federation of Small Businesses, Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue together with cloud accounting software suppliers and developers. Keep up to speed with the developments and do not get left behind under grey, rain-filled clouds – the future should be a white cloud with a silver lining.

4 Steps for Managing Your Small Business Technology Costs

A few simple steps can help you make the most of your expenditures throughout the lifecycle of the technology. Servers, desktops, software, networking equipment and peripherals add up, but you do need them to keep your business running. Follow these steps to make cost-effective decisions.

1. Weigh Financing Options

Aside from purchasing, financing and leasing are viable options for a small business. Consider a combination of the three when going through the buying process. Installing and configuring the technology could also be financed and bundled into regular payments. Does the company you’re buying from provide “new and authorized by the manufacturer” sales? After you’ve got the equipment up and running, this could enable your company to get updates or enhancements directly from the manufacturer–and dealing with problems will be much simpler.

2. Warranty Wisely

Anticipate growth and business changes and decide whether or not the technology you are selecting today can carry you through these changes. Take into account the time that it will be considered useful for your business. To protect yourself when financing or leasing, align the term of the agreement with the warranty period. That way you’ll have protection direct from the manufacturer during the period of time you intend to own it.

3. Consider Total Cost

Prepare and budget for other costs to support your technology. For example, toner cartridges typically cost the owner or a laser printer two to three times the initial cost of the printer. Consider a program such as a Managed Print Service to include these costs in the monthly price. Typically this will lower the total lifetime cost.

4. Plan for Disposing of the Equipment

Considering your company’s strategy around technology disposal or recycling at the front end. There are basically 3 ways to properly dispose of technology at the end of the useful life:

Sell the equipment
Donate the technology to a school, non-profit, etc.
Formal Disposition – Certified companies will assure your computers or other hardware and software will be properly disposed of, including recycling and reuse of components. Another benefit: Your data is destroyed and made unrecoverable by professionals rather than relying on inexperienced staffers.

The total cost of ownership of technology includes more than the upfront price tag. Consider the total lifecycle costs of IT for your business, plan ahead and you’ll make sure you’re maximizing your investment.