Cloud services have been around for quite some time; however, adoption is relatively low compared to the massive benefits it brings to any entity that uses it. However, all is not lost; more small and medium enterprises are waking up to the reality that cloud computing is the silver bullet they’ve all been seeking to revolutionize and advance their businesses.
So, what are cloud services, and are they beneficial to small businesses? Read on to find out!
Cloud services and small businesses
Cloud services are online services that enable users to access applications, data, and other resources over the internet from anywhere. Cloud services can be used for various purposes, such as managing email, working on documents, or streaming music.
Most small businesses are usually faced with one major issue: lack of resources for the simple reason they’re starting out. But that’s not all; even with adequate resources, it may be challenging to justify some tech purchases, mostly due to the significantly high acquisition and operational costs.
So how can small businesses access top-tier tech capabilities without stretching themselves thin or with less uncertainty about whether investing significant resources would pay off?
The answer is cloud services.
With cloud services, small businesses can enjoy unmatched tech capabilities at a fraction of the cost and with little or no resources (i.e., skilled IT workforce) to utilize it in line with their organizational objectives.
These are some of the ways small businesses stand to benefit from cloud computing:
1. Ease of use and integration
Cloud services can be integrated into a business without needing IT staff. With a cloud service provider, small businesses can incorporate cloud services and related utilities into their existing systems and workflow processes in minutes or even seconds.
It’s easy to see why this is important: If you want to use a specific feature or tool within your organization, it can be frustrating if there are multiple steps involved in setting up the integration process or having to hire an expensive team member who knows how to do it manually.
With many providers offering free integrations with their products, as long as they have been built on open-source software, adding them to your organization will be quick and easy—and free!
2. Greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in business operations
Cloud services can help small businesses grow and become more competitive, efficient, and cost-effective. Cloud services are available 24/7 worldwide, so you don’t have to worry about being tied down by your physical location, provided there’s internet access.
You’ll be able to access many different types of cloud storage solutions at a low price point—and because it’s all hosted on one platform instead of multiple servers around the world, there is no need for expensive hardware or software licenses. Cloud services allow you to focus on what matters most: running your business by enabling you to outsource the day-to-day IT tasks and maintenance.
3. More flexibility.
When using cloud services, you can adapt your business model and scale up or down as needed. If your company has been doing well in one area but is struggling in another, you can switch to a more profitable segment without having to make major changes all at once.
You also won’t have to worry about losing customers because they’re unhappy or due to a misunderstanding—the cloud allows them to easily move their data back onto your servers when they want access again (and vice versa).
And since everyone in the organization shares resources across multiple locations, there’s no need for costly equipment purchases or maintenance contracts; instead, as one location grows larger, new servers are added until everyone has access everywhere else within a reasonable timeframe.
4. More scalability.
If your company grows, you can add more servers using the cloud infrastructure and pay only for what you use. If your business shrinks in size, it’s easy to scale back down without buying new hardware or struggling to dispose of others.
Additionally, many of these services offer a pay-as-you-go model that allows businesses to save money by not having an ongoing bill for their IT infrastructure. This is especially beneficial considering that many small businesses don’t have a dedicated IT department looking after their needs—they may be responsible for everything from payroll processing to managing their social media accounts themselves!
5. Advanced collaboration.
If there’s anything the past three years have shown the world, it’s the need to find innovative ways to collaborate beyond physical spaces since circumstances may not always allow traditional workplace dynamics.
When using a cloud service, your employees don’t have to worry about their data or devices containing sensitive information. This means that they can work together without worrying about whether their workspace is secure or not.
Additionally, since cloud storage provides unlimited amounts of space and bandwidth, it’s easy to share large files between multiple people. This means less time spent on file transfers and more time getting things done!
6. Better security.
Cloud services provide better security than traditional systems. When you use a cloud service, your data is stored in data centers protected by top-tier safeguards, including but not limited to firewalls and malware scanners.
The same cannot be said for your hardware or any other physical device used to store sensitive information; even if those devices are protected using antivirus software and other means, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be safe from malicious actors looking to steal personal information or money.
Cloud services can help you improve your security posture by providing more protection against external threats while also reducing costs associated with maintaining legacy infrastructure—and they’re easy to set up!
7. Enhanced productivity.
In a cloud-based service, authorized individuals can access information anytime, anywhere. They can work on multiple projects simultaneously and access data from any device. A small business’s employees are also free to collaborate with other team members, which allows them to get things done faster and more efficiently.
In addition to being accessible from anywhere at any time, these services are user-friendly enough so that even those who aren’t technically savvy can use them effectively. Users never have to worry about their IT staff out of office hours because everything is stored securely in the cloud—and if something goes wrong (or someone loses their password), there are plenty of backup options available.
By taking advantage of cloud-based solutions, small businesses can save money on infrastructure costs, enable faster deployment of new applications and features, and improve security and data protection. Overall, the adoption of cloud services by small businesses is becoming a necessity to remain competitive in today’s market.
Ready to advance your business using cloud services? Contact us for more information.