“The cloud”, “cloud computing”, and “the power of the cloud” are just a few of the buzz-phrases in business technology in the past few years. Many assume that this in only a topic of interest to IT professionals, but cloud technology is rapidly changing the way we do business. If you are not tech savvy or if IT intimidates you, you may be wondering – What is “cloud computing”? When we talk about the cloud, we are talking broadly about online storage tools and services that make it easier for people and businesses to connect, share, store, and access information. Think of a magical, invisible filing cabinet in the sky that everyone in your company can access. In taking a closer look, we can find several ways that cloud computing has now become essential in growing your small business.
Flexibility: All business, especially small business, needs to have flexibility – in their schedule, in their responsiveness, in how information is accessed, and in how you interact with clients. When a company needs more bandwidth, a cloud-based system can meet the demand for a considerably lower cost. Cloud-based systems can also make your information accessible from anywhere, which helps you better service your customers when and where it is convenient for them.
Disaster recovery: When companies rely on cloud computing, they often no longer need complicated disaster recovery plans. A good majority of providers take care of most issues, and are able to do so more quickly. Hopefully no issues occur, but when they do, quick recovery is very important in keeping your customers happy.
Increased collaboration: Cloud computing increases collaboration by allowing employees – no matter where they are – to work on documents, share files, and retrieve records in real time. Some studies have even shown that this kind of investment in collaborative technology will show a 400% return on investment.
Document Control and Security: Cloud computing keeps files in a central location and everyone works off of one central copy. Businesses that do not use the cloud rely on shuttling documents back and forth via email, which can lead to security breach and increased errors. In addition, the potential cost of a server going down or a machine crashing can be very stressful for a business owner. When everything is stored on the cloud, data can still be accessed no matter what happens to the physical machines.
Environmentally friendly: Businesses using cloud computing can eliminate several machines from their office, such as servers, printers, and PC’s, which decreases their carbon footprint. Using the cloud can result in at least a 30% less energy consumption and carbon emissions than using on-site servers.
Cloud services for small business are becoming more popular than ever before. Instead of being overwhelmed by the costs and stress of managing IT in-house, small businesses can expand their productivity and reduce their risk by utilizing cloud-base IT services. Cloud computing is not just a buzzword, but a more effective way to run your business.