Cloud Computing Can Boost Your Small Business
Increasingly more businesses today are switching over their technological operations to cloud-based systems. Clearly, they are finding that it’s helping their business become more productive and cost-effective, and ultimately fostering its growth.
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Let’s explore some of the ways the cloud can help your business reach a new level of success. Before doing so, let’s also consider how hiring an IT service can smooth out the process, utilize the most of your resources and save you time, money and energy.
It is possible to transition to the cloud on your own, but often it is more beneficial and can save money in the long-run to employ the help of a technology support provider. An IT professional is an expert in the field who can guide your business towards making the best decision in terms of choosing a cloud provider, or setting up a private cloud if necessary.
They will assess your business’ needs and determine which options best suit it, without spending more money or resources than necessary. They will perform the set-up and maintenance, and can answer any questions down the line so no crucial mistakes are made, especially when it comes to potential data leakage and other risks.
Better Team Collaboration
A huge benefit of the cloud is information can be shared across systems seamlessly and in real-time. A basic demonstration of this principle that most people are familiar with is the Google Drive Suite. Employees can work on projects while colleagues can immediately view their work and make comments or changes.
This saves a significant amount of time and energy. In more involved systems, like CRM (Customer Relations Management) tools and databases, this instant sharing of information is even more crucial, as colleagues are instantly informed of customer information, project updates, and progress.
Additionally, instantaneous updates allow for management to run reports with minimal effort. Implementing use of the cloud also enables employees to work from home or on-the-go. It opens many possibilities, like entering information on a hand-held device while out on the field, for example. Ultimately, real-time communication and sharing of information for employees lead to a better customer experience as a key benefit.
Access to High-Quality Software
The foundational concept of cloud computing is a pooling of resources. A cloud service provider can offer access to software which is more expensive to invest in than the average small business can afford. The possibilities and benefits in this regard are therefore almost limitless, as technology advances and more sophisticated methods of increasing production are created.
The most important point is that by using a cloud-based system, your business can stay ahead of the competition in terms of technology used. For example, reporting capacities may have much more to offer, so data can be analyzed to inform on current sales and how to improve them.
Companies can easily gain insight about who their average customer is, what appeals to them, when they are likely to buy it, etc. The software offered by cloud providers can perform advanced functions that are as developed as AI tools that can predict customer behavior, and boost sales further.
Security may be a concern for those who are just adjusting to the idea of the cloud and its usages. Use of the cloud may contrarily seem to be a threat at the outset. The data is stored on a hard-drive outside of the business’ walls, and anyone who can access that database, can access the company’s precious – and often sensitive – personal information.
However, the well-trusted cloud service providers who store this information are experts in securing it,and also have the resources to do so in an outstanding way.
Servers are physically protected in remote areas where intruders won’t stand a chance of invading them. They often have teams test security against potential hackers. Further, in terms of losing information, data is backed up on multiple servers, sometimes in varying locations around the world, in order to prevent a data-loss catastrophe.
On another note, cloud-based systems can even protect your business from its own employees. As Salesforce pointed out, a business’s greatest security threat comes from the employees themselves when hackers manipulate human behavior. With advanced software, more complicated privacy rules can be established to keep information shared amongst only those employees who must have access to it. This can significantly mitigate risk.
Scalability and Adaptability
A major concept that goes along with cloud-based services is “Pay-as-you-go.” With a pay-as-you-go model, businesses can adopt only those services which they determine benefit their business in the present month. Charges are based on how much the services are used, or how much data is stored, just the way utility bills are calculated. This means no resources are wasted and companies don’t have to pay for what they don’t use.
In terms of software, it means that as their business grows, they can easily expand the services they require. Without having a cloud-provider, businesses would have to re-invest in new updated technology which would take time and more money to implement. This also allows for more experimentation, if the business takes different turns and requires different kinds of technology to accommodate such a change in direction.
In terms of hardware, it means businesses have the opportunity each month to drastically change the amount of data they store. If the business operates data storage on its own, it would never be in an ideal position: it would either not have enough storage to meet its needs and potentially experience a server crash, or have too much storage and spend more money than necessary.
With the pay-as-you-go method employed by cloud providers, your business neither has to risk system crash nor waste its resources. Instead, resources are pooled amongst all businesses who utilize the cloud provider’s storage, which incidentally makes them eco-friendly as well.
These are the main ways adopting cloud-based technology and cloud-based service providers can take a small business to the next level and stay ahead of the competition. Cloud providers specialize in providing the best service possible and the best data security. They allow companies to seamlessly adapt as their business grows and changes, and ensure working together is much easier.
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