Why SMBs Should Embrace the Cloud
Your New Secret Weapon
Today, more and more Australian businesses are relying on the cloud to help their business run more effectively, efficiently and securely. But for some, the cloud still reminds a mystery.
Simply put, the cloud utilises the Internet to access virtual machines and digital files. Through cloud computing, the digital content can be accessed over the Internet from any device at anytime with an Internet connection. Cloud computing has also progressed to offer full servers and applications online that were previously tied to a workstation or a local server.
The cloud is redefining the way small businesses actively do business. Here are four benefits for small-business owners to consider when deciding to use the cloud over local infrastructure.
- Cost Savings
Setting up your own IT infrastructure for your business often includes many capital expenditures. These include purchasing valuable space for your server room, like application server, database server, VoIP server and cooling system that these servers require. In the cloud, however, these expenses can be eliminated. You pay for exactly what you use during each month. Most cloud services provide utility based models where you only pay for what you consume, with no long term contract or commitment. This can help small businesses avoid large upfront cost. Plus, cloud vendors generally provide free technical support and server upgrade and it happens seamlessly behind the scenes so it doesn’t require involvement of key personnel within your company. For small businesses especially, those savings are invaluable.
- Data Security
The most recent survey on cloud computing conducted by Dresner Advisory Services, as stated by CEO Ericson, revealed that security concerns are a primary barrier to adoption of cloud computing. Many companies would fret over the security of their data when it is stored in a remote location. In fact, cloud storage has actually proven to be safer than on premise security measures. Most cloud providers constantly update and improve their security systems, including encryption techniques that keep the data from being accessed by any unauthorised source. Compared to an in-house storage solution, the security of which might not be monitored consistently by busy IT staff, vendors have entire departments devoted to protecting users’ data.
- Increased Flexibility
One of the most alluring benefits of cloud computing is being able to access work-related files and information from any device in any place at any time. Essentially, cloud helps you replicate what you can do in an office full of people, except to do that when you are travelling, or when you are at home, or wherever that suits you. This increased flexibility allows you be more productive by maximising the use of your time to get your important things done.
What’s more, increased mobility and flexibility in the cloud can lead to additional cost savings. For instance, small-business owners can opt to implement BYOD (bring your own device). Employees can work on devices they already own and are comfortable with, such as tablets and laptops.
- Greater Integration
Businesses need to employ specific applications to run the functional areas of their business, like payroll, invoicing, HR, CRM, Marketing etc., and it’s essential that each of the individual applications talk to each other. Without seamless communication between applications and services, business processes slow down. Adopting a cloud-based business solution creates multiple opportunities for integration and simplified integration. Cloud-adapted small businesses have the option of integrating with various cloud-based providers.
Small businesses can take advantage of specialised services that integrate with back-office operations, from human resources to marketing to accounting. These opportunities for integration give small-business owners more time to focus on the more critical areas of business.
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