Small Businesses Cloud
In the past, small business owners had to either run applications or software that was downloaded physically onto a computer. Not only was this process pricey, it’s now a relic of the past that can put your business as a major disadvantage.
Thanks to the cloud, business owners access information on any device, anywhere in the world. For example, you can update your social channels, send out invoices, or communicate better with team members. This makes running your business run more efficient so you can stay-on-top of projects without having to be sitting behind a computer.
If you’re still on the fence about making the move to the cloud, here are five benefits that your small business will experience after making the switch.
1. Increased Mobility, Flexibility, and Collaboration
Did you know that around 61% of employees have reported that they work outside of the office at least part of the time? That stat reflects how today’s workforces is rapidly evolving into one that is constantly on the move. Whether if it’s a freelancer working remotely or an executive who needs to collaborate with team member while traveling, cloud-based applications have made it more convenient to access, share, and collaborate on information and complete tasks no matter where you are in the world.
Besides the flexibility to work and collaborate anywhere in the world, cloud-based applications can be scaled either up or down depending on the needs of your cloud capacity. They can also be configured to meet the needs of your business, whether if that’s for payroll or recruiting.
Because of this agility, cloud computing can give you a competitive edge. Because of that, it’s not shocking that ‘operational agility’ was listed as a top driver by CIOs and IT Directors in adopting the cloud.
2. More Secure
There are misconceptions that cloud-based applications are less secure than server-based programs. However, server-based programs are actually more vulnerable to a number of security concerns like viruses, identity theft, data loss, and intellectual property theft.
In reality, the cloud provides exceptional security for two reasons. For starters, all of your data is backed-up offsite. This means that you’re drastically reducing the chances of hackers breaching your system and exposing your data to potential viruses.
Secondly, as noted in Forbes, cloud technologies are doing “more than ever to invest in ensuring the security of customer data.” This includes “security tools and controls such as physical protection, advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, automatic backup, identity and access management controls.” Furthermore, “cloud providers are regularly executing penetration testing and enable continuous auditing for complete visibility of the infrastructure” so that they meet “industry standards and regulations like HIPAA or PCI DSS.”
3. Disaster Recovery
To be fair, there’s still a chance for security breaches to occur in the cloud. However, if this does happen the cloud allows you to easily get your business back-up and running.
In fact, cloud-based applications have been designed to “save time, avoid capital expense, and leverage third-party expertise.” Because of this, the Aberdeen Group have found that small businesses “are more than 2-times more likely than either Mid-Sized organizations or Large enterprises to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions.”
4. Cost Efficient
Using cloud-based application can also provide your business with big savings. For example, instead of purchasing expensive hardware that requires installing, updating, and maintaining, you can invest in software that will ultimately reduce costs like additional IT staff. Suppliers automatically take care of maintenance and updates. In fact, it’s been found that “cloud implementations can take up to 50% less time, and total cost of ownership can be up to 46% cheaper.”
Another way that the cloud can save your business is that you pay as you go since most suppliers use a subscription-based models that are based on your specific needs, as opposed to making a hefty investment in hardware.
5. Storage Capabilities Based on Your Needs
As mentioned previously, cloud-based applications give you the ability to scale up or down based on your needs. If your business grows, then you’re probably going to start generating more data and hire more team member. In this case, you’ll need to expand your storage. Instead of purchasing new hardware, you can increase your storage at a fraction of the cost.
Switching over to the cloud makes sense for small business owners today if they want to maintain a competitive edge and increase their productivity at a reasonable price.
What benefits have you experienced by moving to the cloud?
By Eric Hebert
Eric is the senior marketing strategist for evolvor.com, where he helps educate business owners about digital marketing. Some of his work has appeared on Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, and ClickZ.