Cloud-based services and software are giving small businesses an affordable way to grow their operations.
Cloud computing is one of the most critical innovations in the world of business over the past decade. Companies now have access to processing power, which doesn't necessarily need to be contained on a single machine. Information Age mentions how cost-effective the solution can be for small businesses that can't invest a lot of money into computation power. Cloud technologies have now branched out to include productivity software like G Suite.
Regardless of the size of the business, cloud computing can affect the speed and intensity of its growth through several factors.
Increased levels of productivity
Cloud connection means that a business doesn't have to rely on a single individual to perform complex tasks. A single job can be distributed to collective specialists, making data processing more efficient.
New Horizons reports that businesses that invest in the cloud have the advantage of offering employees a seamless connection to their work and access to collaborative tools. Thanks to the data being stored on the cloud, the business doesn't have to worry about a virus or hardware failure wiping out that information irreparably.
Updated versions of files
Cloud storage is another cloud-based technology that already has a profound impact on business. For those of us who understand how on-premise backup systems work, we know that there's a certain lag-time in between backups where data failures can seep into. Even for long-term saves, there may be several months where there is a gap in available data.
In the case of a cloud storage system, the constant updating of files ensures that the "shadow" period for data is a matter of seconds. The quick retrieval of data after a failure is another point to recommend it. Some businesses need to have access to their data rapidly after a failure state. Real-time updating ensures that the data is available as soon as possible.
Secure storage of company data
Many companies store their sensitive data in the cloud, but there have been concerns lately that this information may not be totally secure. An in-depth study of recent cloud data breaches, however, shows that the companies were at fault for their own data leaks.
The Wall Street Journal states that many of the current data breaches that we have witnessed came from human error, mostly linked to the setting up of security protocols on cloud servers. Cloud data is safe because of the distributed nature of the cloud.
Cloud security measures are usually many times more dynamic than those of companies that run their own on-premise backup storage servers. When dealing with data that can be accessed across the entire world, having a secure system is of the utmost importance.
One of the most exciting things for businesses about cloud systems is how scalable they can be. One of the things that endear the cloud to small and medium business owners is how it can be adapted for use with a small or medium enterprise.
For smaller businesses, this is exciting because it means that their storage needs can dynamically adapt to the company's changing needs. There's no more speculation about investing in storage solutions. The company can just pay for more cloud storage when it needs it. The cost also plays into how the cloud saves businesses money.
Better collaboration between teams
Since the cloud system is not tied to a particular hardware location and is accessible from anywhere, it allows documents stored on the cloud to be used by multiple individuals. In businesses that have different specialists working on a single project, this is good news. A document may be checked out by one team member and worked on then resubmitted to the cloud for another professional to work on a different aspect. It even encourages a meeting of minds for professionals in the same field.
Increased automation of tasks
As most companies that adopt cloud technology can attest, it has been a godsend for cutting down their workload. By cleverly setting up a cloud server, a company can automate tasks, such as posting to social media or sending out updates to the company's email subscribers.
Cloud automation is an exciting development for small companies because it can give back workers some time out of their schedules if some of their tasks are already automated.
Saves businesses money
As mentioned before, there is a lot of free cloud-based software that companies can use. Instead of paying for Microsoft's Office suite, Google offers a similar set of productivity software in G Suite. Free tools within the cloud can save a company a lot of money in terms of licenses for software. Similarly, cloud computing systems can be leveraged in the same way, ensuring that companies can be competitive while on a constrained budget.
Reduces IT demands
One of the most impressive things about cloud providers is the fact that they offer in-depth support for their products. If a business is renting cloud space from a supplier like Amazon, then the host ensures that the client gets prompt and efficient service, to the point of helping them get up and running.
There's no need to hire a cadre of IT staff to help fix machines when software becomes broken. In such a case, a system can just reload the browser to recover the data the employe had previously been working on. Additionally, if a device needs to be debarred from the system, removing it from the list of trusted devices from the cloud ensures that the machine can no longer access the company's data.
Expands employee availability
Remote work has become a significant impactor to business. In a recent study by Buffer, up to 99% of respondents stated that they intended to work at least some of the time remotely for as long as they remained at their career. Cloud servers are ideal for communicating with remote workers.
Additionally, files can be shared seamlessly between employees that may be in entirely different geographical locations. There's no longer a necessity for a business to hire a professional that lives in the company's home city. They can look for skilled workers even outside of their country.
The cloud is a benefit to small businesses in several ways. However, cloud-based companies require a lot less personnel to run. Small companies can remain small while automating complex tasks within the cloud. It's only when the company needs to expand that it can start scaling up its operations, utilizing new cloud services, and increasing the amount of money they pay as a subscription. Small businesses can now favorably compete with massive corporations in the digital realm.