What does moving to the cloud even mean? These 5 advantages of adopting cloud computing services will convince you it’s not just time to find out, it’s time to switch over.
It’s not unusual for small business owners to overlook cloud-based services, because they seem complex and out of reach. This couldn’t be further from the truth. By 2021, 90% of businesses will use the cloud, and for a variety of good reasons.
From reliable online storage, to easy collaboration and safe backup systems, the cloud is a tool that you will want to adopt and leverage for your business this year, especially during the pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know about cloud computing, along with 5 key benefits to adding them to your small business. Enhance how your SMB operates, and take advantage of these pros!
What is Cloud Computing?
The ‘cloud’ is another name for the internet. When IT folk talk about moving to ‘the cloud’ they’re really talking about switching from local servers, to online servers.
The data from your small business is stored locally on your work computers, or on a separate in-house server. Servers are where you save your photos, videos, documents and other data files.
Many small companies invest in dedicated servers, where data can be stored for your business and shared with others through a private internal network.
Software is bought, and hosted on servers that you own. These are great, but they do have their shortcomings. Capital investment, support expenses and unexpected downtime are a few of note.
Cloud computing takes you a step beyond this, and gives your company access to a long list of pay-as-you-go software and services that are available from anywhere. You get to access IT resources online, when you need them, with flexible pricing that isn’t going to bankrupt your company first. Cloud computing is managing, processing and communicating information online. From Google Apps, to Trello, to Freshbooks – there are simpler, better ways to leverage cloud technology for your business.
#1: Protect Your Business from All Eventualities
Remember that time your restaurant flooded? Or when you lost your laptop on a train ride home? When your business uses the cloud for online backups, you’re protected from these eventualities.
Cloud-based services allow your business data to be stored offsite, so it’s never lost, damaged or impacted when a PC crashes, or your server is submerged in water, or your laptop is gone forever.
Disaster recovery is an excellent benefit that untethers your data from real-world incidences and protects your business continuity. The security of your business improves when you adopt an automatic cloud backup system.
#2: Adopt Flexibility That Grows with You
Your small business is going to change and grow multiple times over the next year. That means ever-shifting online storage, bandwidth and software needs.
With cloud computing, your business can scale up or down whenever you need too. It gives you the same agile response as an enterprise-level company.
Best of all, you can do this without wasting money on expensive packages or servers – and still get the capacity you need to expand at the pace you choose. Agile solutions help you succeed!
#3: Rock Solid IT Security to Safeguard Your Data
In today’s world of cyber-warfare, data security is more important than ever before. When you move to cloud-based services you change to rock solid IT security that won’t let you down.
The maintenance of cloud-based online tools is the responsibility of much larger companies. Because of this, you don’t have to manually do software updates or deal with security threats – it’s automatically done for you.
This means that you don’t have to employ an expensive IT team to update and secure your personal servers. It also means that even if a device is stolen – you can block data access on that device, effectively preventing someone else from viewing sensitive information.
#4: Collaborate With Your Team from Anywhere
Because cloud computing frees your data, it also frees your workforce from having to use specific devices, in a specific location. Online collaboration can be achieved from anywhere in the world.
All you need is an internet connection! Cloud collaboration makes working from home possible too, an invaluable tool that many small businesses took advantage of recently with the COVID-19 crisis.
Forbes says when you work in the cloud your company will enjoy greater productivity and accelerated results. This is thanks to increased efficiency due to online automation, better process management and seamless integration between different tools and software services.
#5: Avoid Expense and Choose to Save Money
Cloud computing is a more affordable option for small businesses. If used to its maximum potential, you will save money across the board – on staff costs, app consolidation, hardware and software packages. Plus, you’ll also save a lot of money by saving time.
Consider the evolution of Microsoft Office. Initially a desktop download, Microsoft released a cloud-based version with an annual subscription model. It comes with a host of great extras – like instant messaging – and is far more affordable to buy than say, 15 desktop copies of the original.
Suddenly your SMB doesn’t have to raise a fortune just for a simple Office Suite license for your team. Cloud computing is an amazing way for your business to grow at a faster rate.
From protecting your business data, to adopting agile technology, to making sure that you have the best security for your company – cloud-services make it possible. You’ll be able to collaborate with your team at any time, from anywhere in the world – unrestricted by location or hardware.