To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

The Internet and business world alike are abuzz with the latest trend in computing: the cloud.  What is the cloud you might ask? The cloud, short for cloud computing, is presented to end users as a service for data storage and application templates. The neat thing about the cloud is that it makes data accessible from almost any device anywhere in the world, including mobile phones and tablets, so it’s safe to say it’s created a bit of a breakthrough in the way users obtain computer services.

This means, that rather than being bound to one desktop or laptop for services and business tools, end users have their choice of an unlimited number of access points once their service subscription is paid and up to date.  Many software vendors have leaped at the chance to get on the cloud computing bandwagon by offering their systems within the cloud for a monthly fee, while others have opted for offering a private version of the cloud that’s exclusively dedicated to each business or company who purchases the software.

Most hosted cloud contact management software is offered on a trial basis for free for 7 to 30 days. One of the top software vendors offers full cloud services for a monthly subscription of anywhere from $5 to $250 per month across five different subscription packages.  Then there are private contact management software systems, usually available for a one-time fee – currently as little as $99.  These systems are even more flexible for companies in search of a middle road between hosted clouds and traditional software applications.

These systems allow companies to install their own server on a dedicated computer.  This server then acts as a “cloud” for the entire company.  The advantage is that unlike hosted cloud computing, this method can still operate even when there are Internet access issues.  It’s good to know that there’s lots to choose from when considering whether to cloud or not to cloud.  Be sure to carefully do your homework when deciding which option is best for your business.


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