6 Ways to Leverage Cloud Computing for Your Small Business
Cloud computing affords businesses maximum flexibility and reach on a global platform. With an effective IT provider, you can greatly streamline your business and improve its efficiency. The cloud represents all entities outside of any local network. Any computing tasks, data storage, resources and employees connected, but not working within reach, of your operations can all be accessed with cloud computing technology.
A cloud platform is a workstation that is hosted at a data center instead of on an internal workstation. You access the cloud through either a desktop remote station, platform or portal. You can also access the cloud via a specific website page where you would log in using credentials. Here are six ways that you can leverage cloud computing for your small business to grow, simplify and integrate on a global platform.
1. Easy Scalability
As a small business owner, you likely have minimal overhead costs and a small group of dependable employees. Scalability, in this sense, affords you the opportunity to start small and build a network that reflects the demand of your business. You can quickly and easily scale up to meet the demands of your business with cloud computing. While you probably will not have to pay the upfront buy-in fee that is traditionally imposed by companies that run standard servers, there are monthly recurring fees with cloud computing that could end up costing your small business more money in the long run if you are not careful with your investment and scaling. Of course, you can always offset these costs by selling your old IT equipment and servers that you no longer need now that you have invested in cloud computing technology.
2. Money Savings
One of the greatest advantages of cloud computing for small businesses is the opportunity to save money on program, service and software costs. Before cloud computing, business owners would be required to purchase individual programs or obtain licenses for products one at a time to add to the mainframe, server or individual computers around the office. With cloud computing, you avoid having to pay for or obtain multiple licenses; you can simply upload one product to the virtual desktop that everyone in your company can utilize.
The vast majority of small business owners make the transition to cloud computing because they can quickly and easily launch their brand on a global scale. If your business has perfected communications and administrative duties but could use some help with IT support, you can network with other allied businesses who are also utilizing compatible service providers in order to barter services or draw up a mutually-beneficial contract for both businesses. Not only does cloud computing open up opportunities for increased networking, it also acts as a built-in marketing tool to give your business exposure to allied companies.
4. No More Hardware And Software Installations Required
With cloud computing, you can enlist the help of your IT support staff to develop and update hardware and software programs as needed. Your IT department or development team can access the remote desktop and obtain all of the tools necessary to update or create software programs with ease and simplicity.
5. File Storage
Cloud collaboration, cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps make it effortless to share documents, important notes and photos with your team from across the miles. OneDrive, a part of Office 365, is one of the most popular file storage systems that holds important files in the cloud in lieu of taking up valuable storage on your hard drive. Additionally, you can house backup programs, advanced security platforms and software, collaboration programs and remote desktop applications all from the cloud.
With cloud computing, your team members and employees can access, edit and share documents from anywhere as long as they have access to the internet and a laptop, computer or other mobile device. With cloud computing, on-site and remote employees can work together on projects; this saves time while also improving quality and productivity.
6. Data Storage
Analyzing your company’s data on a regular basis can provide invaluable insight into your overall operations, procedures, employees, customers and clients. From the collection phase to storing, analyzing and archiving, cloud computing offers unlimited storage space and easy-to-access tools that let you see your growth with the click of a button.
Cloud-based software affords you the flexibility and customization tools you need to unify and streamline your business; this makes it relatively simple to run your operation from one centralized location. Another advantage to cloud storage is that all of your confidential files, documents and sensitive information is stored at a hosting provider or large data center instead of on your local network. These large data centers have extra measures in place and invest in heightened security features to protect the information of all of the businesses they host on their platform. When utilized properly, cloud computing can be a sound investment for your small business.