Offering access to a range of capabilities that typically only larger companies can afford, cloud computing has created something of a technology revolution for small businesses.
And as a result companies can now tap into software and services on an “as they need” basis, (Software as as Services or SaaS) paying for what they use via a monthly tariff, then making the most of basic equipment like an internet connection and a web browser.
Businesses can also access everything from data backup to warehouse management systems simply by “joining the Cloud.”
So here are just five ways cloud computing can benefit your business.
1. Manage Growth
A huge challenge when it comes to running a small company is predicting what resources your business will need throughout the year. You’ll want enough to make the most of opportunities that arise, but not so much that you over stretch yourself. With Cloud resources, instead of having to predict your needs, you can react as your needs arise. So if a certain project demands increased collaboration, you can access your tools quickly and without the advanced planning and the subsequent costs.
2. Greater Collaboration
According to a 2010 survey by Microsoft, 66% of small businesses said they need to allow employees to work anywhere at any time. Five years later, one of the advantages of cloud based programs is that they can be used at any time on almost any device that is connected to the internet, so this means teams in different locations can work on various documents without needing to e-mail attachments and share calendars and task lists from wherever they may be.
3. Reduce Costs
It’s not just the ability to scale up to meet increased demand when business is booming, the Cloud also allows you to scale down during slower periods too – saving your company valuable resources. Also, subscribing to software and services for a monthly fee can free up funds that would normally be spent on things like server maintenance, power and cooling costs, and software licensing.
4. Better Security
Another benefit of cloud software is that it can ensure you are able to retrieve the latest versions of your data in case of a system failure. The software allows you to back up your data as frequently as you want or automatically to a safe online location, so that if the unexpected happens, you can be back up and running within minutes with no harm done.
5. Improved Reliability
Cloud service providers have the advantage of a dedicated, experienced IT staff. This means they can usually resolve any problems that arise faster than a small business with who normally rely on limited IT resources. Combine this with fact that they are usually more reliable than services delivered on-premise and you’ll see why many small businesses feel cloud software offers a great deal of reliability.