Demystifying The Cloud – How Small Businesses Can Leverage Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is redefining how businesses run, impacting the operations of large enterprises as well as start-ups. For some, the notion of “cloud computing” is a relatively new concept.Cloud computing provides businesses with access to the valued end result or output of equipment and software, without the ownership or maintenance costs required by purchasing it. Most often, cloud computing is delivered as software as a service (SaaS) where users can access a web based solution via a subscription without the heavy investment in the IT infrastructure to support it. Recent growth in cloud computing is partly driven by the growth in mobile technology platforms that allow users to access information anywhere, anytime.Although large enterprises with multiple geographically dispersed offices have benefitted from cloud computing, it has been an even greater benefit to small businesses. Small businesses now have access to enterprise solutions via cloud computing that would otherwise be unaffordable for them. Even more importantly, these cloud based solutions allow small business to function more like larger business in the information they can access while simultaneously maintaining the flexibility and agility of a small business, allowing them to react and adapt to situations.Some of the benefits cloud computing provides for small businesses, include:No heavy investment or maintenance costs in IT- The software as a service method allows multiple users to subscribe to the solution. The vendor providing the solution- Intaact, NetSuite, etc. absorbs the maintenance costs, and by offering the solution on a subscription basis can pass along cost savings due to economies of scale attributable to user volume.Ease of implementation- Cloud based solutions eliminate the need for small businesses to invest in infrastructure development, training, and support. Businesses subscribe to the service, and training and support are provided by the vendor on an as needed basis. The business owner can subscribe and unsubscribe to the cloud service as they wish.Redeployment of IT- For small business with limited manpower, cloud based services free up time for IT resources to be redeployed on more strategic initiatives or reduce the need for full time IT employees.Security- Business owners should always check this, but reputable cloud based solutions are knowledgeable about the most up-to-date security measures and encryption technology. This becomes one critical task which the business owner does not need to address, as the responsibility is absorbed by the cloud service provider who may have more expertise in this arena.Scalability- Most cloud providers offer packages with different access levels so that small businesses only need to pay for the services they require and use, resulting in overall cost savings for the small business.Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery- As a small business, this is a critical task which can often lack the attention it deserves simply due to manpower and bandwidth. Cloud based services assist with this, as they back-up critical data offsite as part of providing the solution, facilitating access to this data in case of an emergency.Small to mid-sized businesses have the most to gain from leveraging cloud based solutions in their business operations.

Learn Digital Photography – Keep the Fun Factor in Your Photography

Photography should always be fun and if yours isn’t then you have a problem. It’s no longer a hobby or a pastime and the question I would ask is, “Why are you doing it?”. What’s the purpose of investing time and money in something if you aren’t getting anything out of it. If your photography has reached this point then do something about it. Here are my suggestions for putting fun back into your photography.1. Make sure that you know what you are doingMany amateurs reach a frustration point in their photography because they have reached the level of their own incompetence and can’t get past it. This was known in the business world as the Peter Principle. Unless you find a way to get passed this point the fun will disappear. You’ll see the images you want to take but your ability won’t take you there. So, what’s the answer? Find a way to learn to be more creative and acquire the technical skills needed to get you there. Basically, all this means is that you need to find a way of learning more i.e. buying a book, subscribing to a magazine, signing up for a class or taking an online course. You will be inspired by others and at the same time learn to take your photography to the next level.2. Don’t wait for inspirationIf you wait to be inspired, you will wait to be inspired and thereby achieve a whole lot less than you could. There is nothing creative about waiting for the right moment. The right moment will arrive as you are shooting images not as you are waiting to shoot.3. Just do itMany of us wait for the moment, the perfect situation or the right time to take photos. We want a whole bunch of factors to be just right before we press the shutter button. But in the words of Nike, “just do it!” To have fun with your photography you have to get out and take photos. Once you’ve determined to do this the fun can begin.4. Plan for successI use a number of exercises with my students to get the creative juices flowing. The first is shooting a theme, whether it be colour, old doors and windows or animals. Focus on a theme and shoot it. The next is to shoot an object in a hundred different ways so that each image is different. And, the third is using the alphabet. Find an object or subject that begins with each letter of the alphabet. So, planning before you shoot and trying one of these exercises will guarantee to get those creative juices flowing.5. Have funBe prepared to try new things and experiment with your photography. Try new things you’ve never done before. Push the boundaries and think outside of the box. If you like old cars or flowers then shoot lots of them. If you shoot the things you love you are guaranteed to have fun.Fun means different things to different people so find out what you enjoy doing and include it in your photography. The bottom line is to enjoy your photography. Happy shooting!

Contractors Home Improvement Loans Discovered

Almost everyone dreams of owning their own home. You may have saved for a long time to buy the home you always wanted, but now things have changed and you need more room. Home improvement loans could be the answer to your need. You searched far and wide to find the home that was just right for you at the time. The one that met your every desire, but your family has grown and you need more space now. Home improvement loans can be used for a number of things, and this article will talk about how to get a home improvement loan and some things you can use it for.Now that you found the home of your dreams, you don’t plan on moving. You worked too hard to get what you wanted. You love the location and just about everything in and around the home, but now it isn’t big enough. What are you going to do? Home improvement loans can give you the capability to add on to your existing home. You can add that much needed bedroom or two, and possibly a bathroom, or maybe you need to make your kitchen larger. You want a dining room big enough to fit a nice large table in, so the whole family can eat together and share the days events. Home improvement loans can make this a reality.Depending on how much equity you have built up in your home, you can get home improvement loans to fit your every need. Once you begin paying for your home, you will, over time, accumulate equity. Equity is the difference in, the value of the home on today’s market minus the balance owing on your home. With the way property values are increasing almost daily, you can purchase a home and within a very short time accumulate equity in it. Depending on how much equity you have built up, your home improvement loans can now allow the contractors to come in and begin giving you bids on your new project.Home improvement loans can be added on to your existing home loan. Most of the time they are called a refinance. Interest rates have gone down quite a bit over the past couple years, so you may discover that you can add on to your home, and with home improvement loans, pay even less money per month, or close to your original payments.
Once you have made improvements on your home, the value has now increased, so you have already possibly built more equity in it. Home improvement loans can be used for just about any kind of home improvement. It may be an outside project as well as inside, so the possibilities with home improvement loans are endless.