To Cloud or not to Cloud?: Considerations for Startups and Small Businesses seeking Hosted Business Apps, with Guest Blogger Karl Heiman
This week, the ladies of Smith Shapourian Mignano LLP are happy to collaborate with Karl Heiman, Senior Account Executive at TelePacific Communications, which provides comprehensive connectivity, cloud and continuity solutions.
We first connected with Karl at a lunch organized by the Embarcadero Networking Group in San Francisco. Karl works with a number of emerging and small businesses, and shares his helpful advice below.
Larger enterprises maintain their competitive advantage with up-to-date software and by rapidly adopting leading-edge applications. Young companies are finding it increasingly challenging to keep up while sifting through a grab-bag of cloud based applications. How do you begin to level the playing field without breaking budget?
Take time to calculate which functions and processes are mission critical. The key here is to avoid getting lost in the cloud. With hundreds of shiny new business tools made available through the cloud each month, it can be easy to feel like a kid in a candy store. Ask yourself; is this a long term requirement or just a convenient tool that satisfies an immediate desire?
Try Before You Buy:
More options mean that service providers are jousting for your business. This works to your advantage! When shopping for software in the past, you chose between two or three options, and then signed a term agreement before implementing the service.
Today, free SAAS trials have become the norm. Always Test-drive several different services before buying, and only buy once necessary. Many services, such as email and remote data storage will remain free under a certain usage or number of users.
Consolidate As You Grow:
As businesses grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage each individual service and contract. Renewals and billing cycles rarely align and each account has a different point of contact. At this point, it often makes sense to look for business-ready cloud services hosted by a single provider. This way you can focus on running your business while your network and applications are handled by a single party. In general this type of consolidation can be handled by an IT consultant or your telecommunications service provider.
Are you ready to try out some of those shiny new apps? Check out PC Magazine’s List of the Best Cloud Services for SMBs.
This blog does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This blog should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter in a timely manner, as statutes of limitations may bar your claim.