‘Cloud computing’ is quickly becoming the new buzzword in business. At a basic level, you no longer need to fear the blue screen of death on your computer and losing all your data; you can rent space online to store and share your files from services such as dropbox.You also no longer need to keep servers and software onsite. You can rent space on a centralized server to have access to the software you need when you need it. Large companies have started taking advantage of this centralized way of doing things, but there are many benefits for small businesses too. Here are a few of them:
Cost Savings. Small businesses benefit even more than large companies from cloud computing for a simple reason: cost
- Buy what you need. Smaller companies often don’t need every component of a large business application, and end up paying for many elements they cannot use. With cloud computing, you are able to subscribe to only the level of service you need.
- Equipment is offsite. You no longer need expensive equipment, licenses, and IT support in your actual office. As new software versions become available, the cost of upgrade is paid by the cloud service, not your business.
- Access to experts. With cloud computing, you have access to experts in every field that you purchase services, from HR to sales to customer management. This gives your business a competitive edge that you would not have been able to afford otherwise.
As a small company with less capital available, being able to use every dollar wisely is very important. Cloud computing allows you to do exactly that.
Scale When Ready. When your business grows and becomes more successful, you may need additional software or a larger storage space for your data. Normally this level of growth would require an intensive IT effort as servers are upgraded, new software is purchased, and employees are trained on new processes. With cloud computing, your transition can be seamless — simply purchase additional space and services as part of your monthly computing package. Your employees may not even notice a difference — if they do, the training will be much quicker due to the intuitive web-based interfaces.
Level the Playing Field. Cloud computing allows you to purchase high-performing software in a variety of areas that would previously have been unreachable to you as a small business. Large companies have had access to these tools for years, and now you can also. WordPress can host a professional looking website at a fraction of the cost of maintaining your own server. SalesForce can bring your sales and service customer management to new levels of success. Box allows file sharing and on-the-go access to important business documents. And the list goes on. With cloud computing, solutions that were too costly for small businesses are now within reach.
Cloud computing can seem intimidating, as can all new technology. Any time a business embraces a new system, there’s research to be done and employees to train. However, a small company can use cloud computing as a competitive advantage. Now you can afford the business solutions that the big guys have had for years. The sky is the limit for small businesses who embrace cloud computing.
About the Author: Ava Cambellini is a freelance writer who combines her passion for writing and technology to share the latest industry news and insights on products. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and her portfolio includes writing for small businesses, tech/internet, social media and finance industries.