By Cristopher Burge
In just a couple of years, cloud computing has managed to redefine all we know about connectivity and efficiency. Since local data storage devices are hard to maintain and costly in terms of workforce, big businesses have been switched to cloud computing and reaped the benefits. The results are more than visible: no more on-site IT teams monitoring servers, high loading times, or having to be physically present in the company on one of its computers to access your data. So, if you’re the owner of a small business, we cordially invite you to read our article to see what cloud computing can do for your small business.
Small Business + Cloud = Love
What a small business needs to spread its wings and turn into something big is a little love, nurturing, and a good cloud provider. Nothing’s simple when it comes to running a company, regardless of its size. That’s why it’s essential to nip some things in the bud before they turn into issues that could make your small business lose money.
At the very core of each IT process lies connectivity. If you don’t have a well-established network, there’s no way of getting work done on time. And you probably know what this means – diminished productivity ultimately results in customer dissatisfaction.
Now, for a small cloud-client-to-be business owner, there are two major advantages that recommend this type of solution – scalability, and automation. In layman terms, scalability roughly refers to how many services are included in your cloud plan. For instance, if your company only operates a handful of personal computers, laptops, and tablets, it won’t be necessary to buy, let’s say, the Enterprise plan which is designed for unlimited computers and users.
As far as cloud automation is concerned, think back to the times when each company had its own server and IT team standing at the ready to provide support. That tech support which amounted to a good penny each month also had the responsibility of keeping the server up and making sure that everything’s hunky-dory.
With cloud computing, there’s no need for that. Cloud providers will regularly do the updates and, if necessary, solve the issues that might pop up. What’s even better, everyone will have access to all the documents in real time regardless of the format. Picture this scenario – you have a small business comprised of several Windows computers and a couple of Macs.
Of course, with traditional storing solutions came the issue of cross-platform compatibility – a document displays correctly on a Windows PC, but not on Mac. And this is one of many examples of how traditional storage solutions can affect the data access process. With cloud computing, all these issues are a thing of the past since every byte of information can be accessed in real-time from any device hooked up to the cloud.
Other Benefits of Cloud Computing
As a small business owner, purchasing a cloud plan will definitely spare you the trouble of having to look for extra workforce/time management tools. Many cloud providers offer integrated solutions to time management issues, like easy-to-deploy APIs developed by third-party vendors. Without having to install any additional software on the company’s computers, these apps will boost productivity and streamline workflow, thus generating more revenue.
Keep in mind that every cloud solution can support other services such as Yahoo Mail, Google Mail, or Google Calendar. Social media communication can also be facilitated – with just a push of a button, you can make a post go online in a matter of seconds.
Now, as a business owner, another thing you should be wary about is security, and we aren’t talking about installing antivirus software on your computers. You see, data can be stolen, lost, misplaced, or misused. If your company still runs an on-site server, the chances are that everything you store on it can be forever lost if something happens to the hardware. The same thing goes for theft.
By choosing a cloud storage service, you will entrust all your precious info to a company specialized in storing and protecting data. Studies show that data stored on the cloud is much better safeguarded from catastrophic failure and/or theft since it is encrypted with a tough-to-crack cryptographic key. As for the key’s possession is concerned, some cloud storage services ‘give’ this key to users, while others only ‘share’ control of the key.
In other words, your info is much safer in the cloud than it would ever be on a server or any kind of physical storage device. This is great news especially for small companies or startups who want to direct more resources to other departments.
Is cloud computing the right call for a small company? Most definitely, since cloud providers can help you increase work efficiency while keeping costs down. Integration, automation, and scalability are some of the other benefits of moving data to the cloud.