Cloud computing sounds complex – and, for a time, it was. There was a time when cloud computing was the purview of only the largest of enterprises. Today, it's surprisingly and readily accessible. In fact, small businesses are often poised to be the ones who can best take advantage of cloud computing.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Small Business
Through cloud computing, small businesses are able to access the same robust technologies as larger enterprises. Yet small businesses often hesitate to use cloud computing, because they are concerned that cloud computing will be a massive investment of time and money. Here are some of the core benefits of cloud computing:
- Reduced and predictable costs. Consider a single example: A corporate server could cost $10,000 to purchase and $2,000 in annual upgrades. Meanwhile, a cloud computing service could cost just $50 a month — and the organization's costs would only scale to its needs. Cloud computing provides for reduced, predictable costs, rather than being more costly — even though the organization is gaining the benefit of superior technology.
- Data recovery and protection services. Cloud computing provides inherent data recovery and protection services by saving data redundantly. Redundant data protects organizations from a number of issues: malware, phishing attempts, document version overwriting and more.
- Superior security and network monitoring. With the resources of the cloud, organizations can leverage enhanced security solutions and network monitoring. Companies are able to be alerted whenever a potential threat is identified and can work to mitigate those threats quickly.
- Reliable technology and reduced downtime. One of the principal advantages of cloud-based technology is that it's extremely reliable. The more reliable technology is, the more effective and productive employees will be able to be, and the better the reputation of the company will become.
- Accessibility and work-from-home access. Today, many employees are working from home, or are engaging in flex-time. Companies are able to leverage cloud solutions for better work-from-home access and can hire employees from anywhere in the world.
- Scalability and elasticity. Finally, small businesses are able to leverage the cloud to be able to scale as desired. They can even scale temporarily during seasonal shifts (elasticity) without having to invest in all-new technology on a permanent basis.
And these aren't all the benefits available. Cloud computing is always going to be something that serves as an equalizer. Companies are able to truly connect with their customers and improve their productivity when they are able to leverage the technology available to them.
Investing in Cloud Computing as a Small Business
Cloud computing doesn't have to be intimidating. Small businesses are able to invest in cloud computing architecture over time, rather than attempting to invest in it as an all-at-once proposition. Managed services providers and cloud platform experts can help the organization make this transition.
A few of the best cloud services for small businesses include:
- Project management solutions. Online project management platforms are more accessible for employees, making it easier for them to frequently check-in on their projects and make sure that everything is running as it should be. Project management solutions can be used among a whole team even if they are out of state or out of country and can be integrated into other cloud-based services such as CRM suites.
- Data backups, syncing and storage. Small businesses are frequently using cloud-based backups, syncing and storage even if they aren't using any other cloud-based technologies. Even if everything within the business is damaged, encrypted or compromised, the business will still be able to retrieve its data from its cloud-based backups.
- Customer relationship management suites. A customer relationship management suite is ideal for the cloud, because everyone will be working on centralized data, and because the CRM suite can be integrated with other third-party documents. Often CRM suites connect directly to VoIP telephony and email.
- Workplace collaboration platforms. Slack, MS Teams and other workplace collaboration platforms fit naturally on the cloud platform. These platforms can be accessed from anywhere.
- Phone and VoIP technologies. Today most people are moving away from traditional telecommunications suites. Phone and VoIP technologies have moved to the cloud because they are able to leverage additional resources and are able to be customized with greater control.
In reality, most technologies today are taking advantage of cloud computing. The business benefits of cloud computing are vast. In some years, a small business will be hard-pressed to avoid cloud computing. For more information about cloud computing for small business and making the transition, contact the experts at Red River.