Technology and the cloud

I Really Don’t Know Clouds at All: Technology and Small Business

Home based business owners and work at home business owners often wonder how they’ll generate money to buy the necessary components of business. Software for security, sharing, backup and dozens of other things necessary to continuing business is expensive. Not every small and home business owner starts off with enough money to cover all that. When they hear about “the cloud”, they look out the window to see if it’s going to rain. Then they reach for the CDRs to back up their computers. What these business owners don’t realize is that the cloud is the best thing to happen to them since laptops and tablets. Let’s take a look at why these business owners can’t afford not to use the cloud.
What It Is
The cloud is the intersection between technology and business. What used to be handled by separate (and expensive) services is now offered from one place for a price that scales to what the home based business owner actually needs:
• The cloud offers services that are self-serve, only pay for what you use and can be increased with business volume or scaled down with the same
• It offers software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, meaning no more ordering software for your business, no more needing your own server and ever more storage space, and no more needing an ever growing IT section to take care of all that
• All this is offered in three styles: the public cloud is owned by a company for the work at home business person. It offers the services peculiar to that company with no need to buy or install specific software or the hardware to run it
• The second style is private, which is used by networking companies. It provides services to the many instead of the few like with public clouds. You’ll find this with networking companies like multi-level marketing, where the many can operate without thinking about it.
• The last style is the hybrid clouds, which home based and work at home business owners might use. Let’s say the company they work for needs the resources of a private cloud using company. This service offers both companies across the board services of private and public clouds.
What It Means for the Home Based Business Owner
What’s the first thing home based and work at home business owners fear? Loss of their information is the answer. Off-site storage is offered for free in most cases, but if the owner needs more storage, it’s going to cost them. Thumb drives and CDRs are basically a thing of the past if business owners want to keep track of business matters for various reasons like taxes, for example.
Another major fear is someone hacking into their system and stealing their customers’ information. With the scandals attached to the Target, Neiman Marcus and other big companies’ hacking problems, this is a very real fear. Now, if the home based business is still small enough to run from the kitchen table, then the fear isn’t real just yet. However, anything can and will happen. Being prepared isn’t just a Girl Scout credo.
The next concern for home business owners is access. When they’re on the road for a delivery or providing a service, they often need to access their records or something else from their parent company. The cloud provides access from any device anywhere at any time. No need to lose a customer or client if their questions can’t be answered. This leads us to storage.
Business owners obviously can’t lug around a filing cabinet, so cloud storage is the answer to that particular problem. It is infinite, costs less than business owners fear and can be accessed, again, anytime anywhere. When your customer or client has a question, you can reach for it instantly.
And How Much is This Going to Cost Me?
Now that business owners understand the specifics of cloud computing, they need to analyze the costs. The cloud can be accessed from anywhere from Amazon to Microsoft and Google to a host of other providers. Homes based and work at home business owners will pay between $20 clean up to $200 in some cases. Keep in mind you can shop around for the specific services you need, and that prices are scaled according to what you need when you need it. Amazon appears to be leading the pack and has for years now.
So this is why small to medium business or SMB owners can’t afford not to use the cloud. Of course, if you’re planning on establishing a flooring business in which you’ll be laying flooring, contact us and we’ll help out with cutting machines.

How Much Is Technology Really Changing Businesses?

Is Technology Changing Businesses

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, drastic leaps in technology always change the way we live in more ways than we initially anticipate. The introduction of the telephone not only let us communicate across longer distances but impacted the way people relate to one another socially on a much larger scale. We no longer had to see one another in person, which eliminated things like body language from the equation and gave people an additional veil behind which they can hide. This is the trend and ideally, we will be prepared for these changes instead of playing catch up. The same ideas apply to technology and business today.

Technology is intended to make our lives easier, but like most things, it is a double-edged sword. Now that technology is omnipresent and constantly changing, how to we reconcile older business practices with new developments? Should we even care about the values of the past or focus more on anticipating those of the future? IT departments did not exist 30 years ago as they do now. Below are 3 major ways that technology has impacted business.

  1. Staying Connected: It is much easier to stay in touch with people due to the rise of the social media and mobile technology, and most business have taken full advantage of this. Meetings and conference calls can take place almost anywhere because of the internet. In turn, this results in less down time for employees and higher expectations of commitment in certain industries. People can now work on vacation and even have a face-to-face meeting via video chat. With the 24 hour news cycle, information now comes in real-time and many companies (especially those that are client based) are expected to reply with equal promptness regardless of where they are located or what time it may be.
  2. Business Models: For many years, business models remained the same. This is no longer the case. Many once steady industries now go through regular turmoil over the years trying to adjust. It no longer makes sense to resist adaptation, but instead anticipate it. Technology cycles have become so short that it leaves businesses little time to make decisions and plan. This leads many businesses to panic and spend less time experimenting and innovating. Models must change and be open to collaboration simultaneously in response to and anticipation of technology changes. Unfortunately this can be a difficult balance to strike.
  3. Customer Base: The ideal customer base for most businesses used to be older individuals who had accumulated some level of wealth. That has now changed given the rise of younger entrepreneurs and the growth of youth culture. Businesses, and even the economy as a whole, are identifying Millennials as the driving force behind business and their practices. This group will soon represent approximately 50% of the American workforce with the most money to spend, the fewest financial responsibilities, and a mindset of living in the present. This is the group responsible for the rise of the digital age as the did not know a world before the internet. They are the reason that technology is so integrated in business as well as the rest of the world as they live in the overlap between knowledge base and target consumer. The writing seemed to be on the wall, but any smart business will take this as a lesson on how to anticipate the market trends and the change in customer bases.

With 25 years in operation, Accu-cut has seen these changes and successfully adjusted to all of them. That is how we can offer you the best prices on carpet-cutting machines no matter where you are located around the world. Contact us today to find out more about our services and what we have to offer.