Cloud computing has become increasingly necessary to the way businesses are run, but how could it help your small business become more efficient?
It’s predicted that, by the end of 2020, more than three quarters of businesses will have adopted cloud services. These services are becoming increasingly popular with small and medium businesses, and it isn’t hard to see why. Incorporating the cloud into your business allows for a more streamlined and secure experience, connecting your employees in a way which allows them to stay in the loop no matter where they are.
To put it simply, cloud computing is where data is stored, managed and processed on a network of servers hosted remotely on the world wide web. The cloud provides high security and enormous capacity, alongside a host of managed services and the potential for considerable savings.
So if you’re a small business and you’re considering bringing the cloud into the way you run things, we’re here to help. Here are 12 ways the cloud can help boost your small business and create a more streamlined business experience.
Cloud networks have no physical restrictions on the amount of data you can store in there, unlike a hard drive or a memory stick. So if you find yourself out of storage in your cloud, your plan can be increased quickly and simply, meaning you won’t have to invest in additional hardware.
Maximum availability and reliability
Data stored is the cloud is data which is always available, as you no longer have to rely on a single device for accessing a particular document. All your IT resources are stored offsite and backed up to other locations, meaning they can be reinstated quickly and easily in the event of a server outage or cybersecurity breach. Reduced downtime in these cases means a more productive team, helping you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Data breaches and malware are some of the biggest threats to small businesses today. In fact, research shows that more than 70% of cybercrimes target businesses with less than 100 employees. But the cloud can make the consequences of such an attack far less serious.
Cloud computing solutions can help to mitigate the risk of data loss, whether it’s due to a security breach or a laptop left on a train. Because they are hosted everywhere, cloud services continue to operate in the event of power cuts, equipment breakdowns and other crises.
Keeping data secure and protected
Not only does the cloud give you a safety net when it comes to data loss, but it’s also an extremely secure service in and of itself. All the data which is sent to the cloud is encrypted in order to prevent it from being intercepted by online criminals. So even if your workplace network is breached, the documents stored in the cloud will likely remain safe.
And that’s not all. The cloud can also help to protect against viruses. In many systems, infected files automatically fail to back up. This helps to prevent a more widespread infection occurring across your network.
Simple network management
Investing in a cloud system means that you’re passing on the responsibility of monitoring, maintaining and upgrading your network to cloud computing service providers. This means that there is no need for you or your team to perform manual updates.
Software enhancements for the cloud are rolled out automatically and issues are flagged up quickly. This all helps to offer you the smoothest experience possible, significantly reducing the chances of a widespread problem occurring.
Thanks to the smaller scale of your business, a cloud computing provider can simply and speedily implement the cloud into your business, giving you access to enterprise-level technology across your business at the fraction of the funds and time it would cost to invest in new devices.
Small and medium businesses can become more agile than their larger competitors, as they are hindered by the time it takes their in-house IT team to roll out new systems and services.
Lower IT spending
Investing in IT can be expensive, but cloud computing offers the same opportunities to businesses of all sizes for the same reasonable subscription costs. It allows you to consider other cost saving options, like encouraging employees to bring their own devices to work and hooking them up to your network. Without the cloud, you would have to fork out for workplace devices for all your staff.
You’ll be able to expand your network’s capabilities without investing in new hardware, while also eliminating server license fees. It’s a win-win.
Flexible remote working
The days of the office are numbered, because the cloud allows team members to work from pretty much anywhere. If you store all your important documentation in the cloud, it means your staff members don’t have to actually be at work in order to be working. This gives them the option of remote working and working from home, which research shows can seriously help improve employee satisfaction.
It also makes the hiring process more rewarding for you, as you don’t need to exclusively consider applicants located nearby. With the cloud, you can have a team spread throughout the country.
Using your team more effectively
Using the cloud allows you to outsource your IT needs to trusted professionals like Syntax IT Support, who can help to maintain functionality and security across your network. With these large tasks taken care of, your team is free to focus on what they do best. You’ll have more time for strategic goals, which are now supported by the tools and systems to help you achieve them as productively as possible.
Collaborating and connecting
The cloud makes it easier than ever for your team members to share documents and work together effectively, even if they aren’t in the same place. With real time access to their workflow, teams can connect and collaborate on projects live, promoting innovation and speeding up the whole process. It also means you don’t need to share important documentation across your whole business by printing or sending countless email chains.
Improved cash flow
Cloud computing works on a pay as you go basis, so there are no huge upfront costs to surprise you. It’s also an example of IT that adapts to the needs of your business. If you find you have too much storage space, you can reduce the amount you pay for. Similarly, if you need more storage space, your plan can be easily expanded. You only have to pay for what you need, and this can change at any time.
A greener solution
When you use the cloud, you’re only using the energy you need rather than powering a vast array of different devices. You’re also find it much easier to go paperless in your office with the addition of the cloud.
These factors combined will help to significantly improve your company’s environmental impact. Being able to boast a more sustainable business attitude is a great asset for any brand, as research is showing time and time again that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the carbon footprints of the organizations they use.