Was this article helpful?
Cloud Computing - Should My Small Business Take Flight?
Cloud computing offers potential savings, ease of collaboration and increased mobility. Whether businesses move to the cloud depends on each unique situation. Business owners who carefully evaluate the pros and cons can best take advantage of all it provides.
Small businesses these days are looking to cut computing costs and improve efficiency are finding the many benefits of cloud-based computing services increasingly attractive. The cloud works by using the internet and central remote servers to preserve data and applications. This allows businesses to use applications without installation and lets businesses access personal files at any computer that has Internet access.
Some of the most popular cloud computing benefits for small business are:
Peace of Mind: Storing files on a secure, reliable, cloud computing services helps eliminate backup worries and gives you anytime access to your files. And such services require no maintenance from the user.
Accessibility: Cloud computing provides an easy way to collaborate, especially if yours is the kind of small business that has employees who work from different places and devices–or has remote employees, board members, or vendors who need access to your data.
Cost Savings: You save money every month as well because you no longer need to manage servers, desktops and phone systems. The traditional way of doing it all yourself in house is now a thing of the very expensive past.
To determine if moving to cloud computing is right for your small business, answer these questions:
If you answered yes to a majority of these questions, then you have a good case for moving to cloud computing. The cloud enables the small business to react and respond more quickly and efficiently to their customers – the edge that small companies need to succeed, allowing them to compete on a more level the playing field.
Making changes in your organization is quicker and easier in the cloud, specifically if your business needs to significantly scale its resources up and down. A cloud environment is very well suited for a small business that can take applications off the shelf and utilize with minor modifications.
Moving to the cloud depends on each unique situation. Business owners who carefully evaluate the pros and cons of cloud computing can best take advantage of all it provides. However, by not getting your business ready to use the cloud, you run the risk of being left behind by your more agile competitors in their market. The key to stay ahead of your competition (big or small) is to improve efficiency, ensure the security of your data and reduce your costs.
While it is true that the cloud can save a small business in a monetary sense, scrapping all existing systems and moving entirely to the cloud may not be the best approach. If you must have the ability to be up and running during a blackout, you may want to start by moving to a hybrid platform, where daily operational data is in the cloud and critical enterprise information is stored locally.
Whether you put some or all of your business operations in the cloud, it is imperative that you do your homework on any potential cloud service vendor. It is possible that a cloud provider may go out of business or become unable to continue supporting the very application you became dependent on to run your business. You need to know the key questions to ask a potential cloud computing service provider before you take flight.
Although there are many advantages to moving business applications to the cloud, small business owners need to be aware that there is a lot more involved with going into the cloud to do it effectively. In order to make certain your move to the cloud is effective, it is necessary to work with a knowledgeable and reputable IT consulting firm to ensure your company doesn’t fall from the sky without a parachute.
Learn more about the author, Julie Rice.
- Seattle Small Business Cloud Computing