I suppose I should first ask if you even know what the term "cloud computing" means. According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is Internet-based development and use of computer technology. Essentially, this means that rather than installing some type of hardware or software in your own business computers you just use the Internet to access the tools you need via the Internet.
In our case here at Scholl & Company we recently finished migrating our email, calendar, scheduling, tasks, etc. from our Microsoft Exchange Servers to Google's Apps Premier Edition. I can now say that we're thrilled with the results. We've been able to eliminate the cost of maintaining several expensive servers and saving David, our internal IT guru a ton of time and aggravation. At $50 per employee per year its cost is less than the annual Microsoft Exchange updates alone.
But, not only is there the true monetary savings, we now have a much more robust and stable communication platform. And boy was it tested quickly.
Just about the time we made the switch one of our 9 servers decided to go to silicon heaven. If we had still been using Exchange we likely would have been off-line email-wise for about one half day. With our move to Google Apps we saw not one minute of downtime because the service was hosted "in the cloud" no where near our poor deceased server. In terms of dollars we likely saved at least $5,000 of production time alone, not to mention IT staff time.
All together, we expect to save at least $12,000 annually making the switch to cloud computing. I'd encourage you to take a look at what software and hardware you use in your business and at least review the options available to you today. Having been through this ourselves with several processes switched from our old in-house systems to the "cloud" we can give you a lot of help and insight to properly evaluate your options and find the most cost-effective solution for your business.
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