Five Ways the Cloud Can Resurrect Your SMB
The cloud computing market could hit $55 billion by the end of 2014, says Forbes.com’s Joe McKendrick, who cited his findings from a report by IDC. You can see the growth of “the cloud” in software, infrastructure, and platforms — all as services used in the world of small business. The cloud now lets outsourced IT professionals assist small businesses in five crucial areas:
The less a company has to spend on risk management and security issues, the more they are at risk of financial and data loss. Cloud storage offers unlimited potential for offsite backup and retrieval that’s affordable and reliable. An online backup geek, or IT manager can research which provider offers the best features for a reasonable price. Many of these storage providers offer a 30-day free trial, so you can test drive the service and see how well it serves the business’s needs.
Similar to risk management, strategic Management can involve system upgrades, relocation, and expanding networks. The cloud simplifies all of these tasks and can assist you in attending to scheduling back-ups and updating versions of the platform. Regular back-ups and maintaining a strong bandwidth connection are keys to managing a successful business.
Whether a small business has a dozen workers or just one, few employees stay chained to their desk anymore. Businesses that work entirely online can conduct their business from anywhere at anytime, if the employees are working from mobile devices in their own “virtual office.” Cloud computing allows field agents to access data and take payments with commodity mobile devices. PCMag.com suggests programs like “Office Time” to help with tracking billable hours on PCs and Macs and Microsoft’s Office 360 allows employees to have free cloud access on mobile devices.
According to SmallBusinessComputing.com, many small firms fail to protect their Wi-Fi passwords. The more an unprotected network connection is shared between users and servers, the more opportunities can exist for hackers to tamper with a company’s data. Plus, an unsecured Wi-Fi connection can lead to a slower bandwidth for the business’s website. Many of the popular cloud computing services provide password encryption and other features that will ensure a client’s data is protected.
Finally, the biggest benefit of the cloud for small businesses is it can increase a rep’s response time. Not only can agents access any needed information right away, customers can also access and edit their accounts. This feature can increase the productivity of a customer service department and maximize the business’s ROI (return on investment).
The cloud offers security, service, management and mobility— all in one easy-to-use package. More businesses, regardless of their size, are turning to the cloud as a major part of their business’s data management plan.
By Ken Porter
Ken is a programmer and web designer, Ken has developed multiple programs to help site owners improve their SEO and page rank.