The benefits of cloud computing for small businesses
For the small business sector, moving to cloud computing solutions can provide many benefits. Flexibility of cloud services, wider choice in service providers, affordability, enhanced security, and easy scalability are just a few of the advantages you get when you use cloud services.
Should you move your business to the cloud?
Cloud computing provides you access to many services like storage, software, etc. on infrastructure hosted by the company that provides the service. While this is attractive in many ways, security concerns are the predominant reason that many hesitate to make the move.
Now, cloud services from the best vendors provide a level of security that not many small businesses can afford to implement in-house. So, you can consider your options of cloud computing solutions for small businesses and reap the benefits.
The advantages of using cloud computing solutions for small businesses:
1. Would you like to be able to afford the best choices in business solutions?
- Previously, small business firms had to settle for lower-end software for various business needs because of the high cost of purchasing, licensing, and deploying higher-end solutions.
- Now, cloud services provide the best software solutions on a subscription basis.
- You need not worry about the high cost of outright purchase, installation, and maintenance.
- You can just pay monthly charges and the cloud service takes care of all the deployment and maintenance.
- You can choose the best solution for your needs, even with limited financial and infrastructural resources.
2. How about lower running and maintenance costs?
- Besides the elimination of the need to make huge upfront investments in various software, you also reduce running costs.
- The servers, networks, etc. needed for the service are all part of the cloud solution provider’s infrastructure. They do not run on your premises, so you save on infrastructure and energy costs.
- You are also freed of maintenance, upgrades, and other worries, as these are also the responsibilities of the cloud service provider.
3. Worried about security?
- Contrary to the initial fears about security in cloud services, many organizations now list security as the top benefit of cloud computing solutions for small businesses.
- Cloud security has evolved since the early stages.
- Cloud solution providers tend to implement good security measures as a basic necessity.
- As the cost is divided among so many different clients, their implementation of security measures is far better than what even many big corporations can provide.
- Encryption, constant monitoring, and high-end security measures are all used to ensure that your access to the services is always safe.
- Data is stored and replicated across many servers, so recovery from disastrous situations is easier.
- Software updates, security patches, etc. are all taken care of more efficiently by cloud services, which also helps increase security and ensures smooth operation.
- At your end though, you will have to take care of a few things, such as designing better access control and setting rules for employees about the when, where, and how of access to resources.
4. Have you considered the savings in hardware costs?
- Most of the equipments like network servers, database servers, web servers, routers, etc. are in the cloud service provider’s premises.
- All the software programs and backup storage is implemented in the cloud.
- You need not invest in expensive high-end computers required to run all these resource-hogging applications.
- You will have minimal investment in hardware from your end.
5. Have you considered the increase in workforce efficiency?
- With your IT staff relieved of tasks like deployment, maintenance, and troubleshooting hardware and software issues on premises, they can focus on more beneficial tasks that will help increase business efficiency.
- Cloud services provide ease of access, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
- Due to this, your employees can stay productive wherever they are, on your premises, working from home, or while they are on the go.
- Sharing and collaboration also becomes easier.
6. Can you ignore the ease of scaling?
- With cloud computing solutions, small business organizations are able to add software components as their needs change.
- You can upgrade to advanced features quickly.
- Cloud service providers can instantly allocate more hardware resources as the business grows.
- You can check by balancing this against the cost and time involved in expanding on-premise infrastructure.
- Even with the increased monthly subscription cost, your savings will be huge, and you can quickly respond to changing needs.
7. Would you like the benefit of better integration?
- Many cloud services like Google Apps, Microsoft 365, etc. provide a suite of software tools that work well together, for increased efficiency in collaboration and integration.
- Also, most cloud-based solutions come with good APIs that let you connect with other applications.
- You will, thus, spend less time in trying to find ways to make your different business solutions like inventory, accounting, CRM, ERP, etc. work well together.
These are just some of the advantages of cloud computing solutions for small businesses. It enables you to afford enterprise-level solutions for your business, increases security, enhances collaboration, efficiency, scalability, and ease of access to various resources. The cloud helps small business firms to make use of the same IT resources as the large organizations, to streamline business operations.