Jul 21, 2018

What are the benefits of cloud computing for your business?

KEY REASONS WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD ADOPT THE CLOUD

Cloud computing has created a technology revolution for small businesses, offering access to a range of capabilities that typically only larger companies could afford. Using an internet connection and a web browser, small companies can tap into software and services as they need them and pay for what they use on a monthly basis, like utility services.

Your business can join the “cloud” to access everything from data backup to customer relationship management systems.

Consider the following benefits to see how your company might use the cloud.

Improved collaboration

Cloud-based programs can be used at any time on almost any device with an Internet connection, a benefit that leads to greater collaboration, particularly for businesses with remote employees.

Using Cloud-based software, teams in different locations can collaborate on documents without needing to e-mail attachments and share calendars and task lists from wherever they are. Participants just sign up for the service and access the program over the Internet, without downloading or installing program software.

Employees also can connect through instant messaging and even hold impromptu meetings with robust audio, video and Web conferencing capabilities. Some Cloud-based services even make it possible to include customers and vendors in these meetings. This improved sharing of information has the potential to enable your company to react more quickly to business opportunities.

Employees can be digital nomads  

With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection you can be at work. And with most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted by which device you’ve got on hand.

The result? Businesses can offer more flexible working perks to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance that suits them – without productivity taking a hit.

Increase business flexibility

Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase, it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down, the flexibility is baked into the service. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors – it’s not surprising that SMB rank ‘operational agility’ as a top driver for cloud adoption.

Improve document control

The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later – usually sooner – you end up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles.

As even the smallest companies become more spread out geographically, the scope for complication rises.

When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally, and everyone has one source of the truth. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line.

Better IT security

Lost laptops are a major business problem. And potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of kit is the loss of the sensitive data inside it. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. You can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops, so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Software updates are automatic

The beauty of cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your hair. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. Leaving you free to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.

Secure data backup

If you don’t have the time or resources to implement a backup strategy—or if you keep your backed-up data on-site—the Cloud can help ensure you are able to retrieve the latest versions of your data in case of an on-site system failure or a disaster, such as fire or flood. You can choose a Cloud-based service to back up your data frequently or automatically to a safe online location, so that if the unexpected happens, you can be back up and running within minutes. Many providers offer geo-redundant backup, meaning your data is saved in multiple centres across multiple locations, to improve security.

Greater reliability

Cloud-based services often can be more reliable than services delivered on-premise, particularly if servers or other hardware are aging. Cloud service providers have a dedicated, experienced IT staff—meaning they can likely resolve problems faster than a small business with only limited IT resources.

Managing growth

Cloud resources are scalable, or elastic, so you can tap resources or increase capacity to support growth and handle busy periods. One of the most challenging aspects of running a small company is predicting what resources your business will need—enough to scale and take advantage of opportunities, but not so much that you overspend. With Cloud resources, rather than having to predict your needs, you can react to needs as they arise and use just what is required to manage your growth and enhance your efficiency. For example, if customer and project demands require increased collaboration, you can access collaboration tools quickly and without advanced planning. Your flexibility as an organization rises when you work in the Cloud because your ability to react is greatly improved.

Back-up and disaster recovery are taken care of

Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than reality. Cloud is now helping more SMBs buck that trend.

Pay-as-you-go, no large capital expenditure required

Wish there was a simple step you could take to become more competitive? What about enterprise-class technology, for everyone? Moving to the cloud gives you access, and allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors.

Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay-as-you-go and enjoy a subscription-based model that’s kind to your cash flow. Add to that the ease of set-up and management, and suddenly your scary, hairy IT project looks at lot friendlier. It’s never been easier to take the first step to cloud adoption.

A pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small outfits can run with the big boys, and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble.

IT's good for For the environment

While the above points spell out the benefits of cloud computing for your business, moving to the cloud isn’t an entirely selfish act.

The environment gets a little love too. When your cloud needs fluctuate, your server capacity scales up and down to fit.

You only use the energy you need and you don’t leave oversized carbon footprints. This is something close to our hearts at Startsmart, where we try our best to create sustainable solutions with minimal environmental impact.

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