Written by: James Ponds
Small businesses have much to gain from adopting new technologies. These advancements and new tools can assist you in streamlining, automating and creating efficiency in your workflows, reducing strain on staff and helping you to hold your own against larger competitors. Here are five ways small businesses can benefit from cloud computing.
1. Data Accessibility
Performing a cloud migration and transferring your data and programs over to the cloud can be incredibly beneficial for your small business. Information and data are stored online, in a central hub within the cloud, rather than in on-premise servers. You and your employees will be able to access your data and programs on the cloud via any compatible device, as long as they and their devices have the appropriate credentials and security software. This means people can work with your data even if they're not working in the office.
Small businesses can benefit enormously from the cost-effectiveness afforded by cloud computing. Using the cloud reduces your operations costs in several ways. When you store your data in the cloud, you no longer need to devote as much space and storage infrastructure on your property, which means you won't need to spend as much money on renting space, buying equipment such as servers or doing related upkeep. You can also allow all the cloud maintenance to be performed by your cloud service provider instead of doing it yourself, which typically means you'll pay a monthly flat rate and won't be risking extended downtime to maintain your servers.
3. Improvements in Consistency And Collaboration
Because employees will be able to access your data no matter where they are, they'll also be able to collaborate even while working remotely or while traveling. The central hub ensures that people will be able to access the same file in the same place, sometimes even at the same time. That file will automatically sync when changes are made, which ensures employees are always accessing the latest version of any given file. This also makes it less likely that two different employees will end up working with two different versions of the same file, reducing inconsistencies and confusion.
4. Increased Flexibility
Not only does cloud computing increase the flexibility opportunities available to employees, but it can also increase the flexibility of your business overall. Employees can benefit from remote work, increased accessibility and improved collaboration. Organizations benefit from larger flexibility improvements provided by the cloud. When you use cloud computing, it becomes far easier to scale your organization and programs up or down, for example. Rather than needing to buy more computing and storage equipment as your company expands, for example, you can quickly and simply adjust your needs within the cloud due to its limitless storage. You should only need to notify your service provider and possibly upgrade your service, which takes far less time, money and effort than increasing physical computing infrastructure.
5. Stronger Security
While there have been fears that using the cloud opens a company up to a higher risk of cybercrime, but this could not be farther from the truth. In reality, using the cloud can allow you to maintain your current level of cybersecurity or strengthen it. Your cloud service provider will include cybersecurity tools and programs with your subscription, including standard tools such as antivirus software and more robust programs such as ransomware defenses. You can also integrate your existing network security features, such as encryption and firewalls, with your cloud computing infrastructure to ensure there are no gaps in your defenses.
The cloud is a particularly useful new technology available to small businesses because of its wide range of applications. It can be paired with or used to support many other technologies, strategies and tools.