7 Ways to Maximize Cloud Solutions for your Small Business
Cloud computing has become front and center of the global shift to working remotely. From virtual classes to remote collaboration, cloud-powered applications have helped create normalcy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic when face-to-face interaction wasn’t possible. But even as the pandemic comes to an end, remote work is here to stay.
The cloud was once a very obscure concept, primarily because it was difficult for individuals to imagine something intangible on the internet with the ability to store data and host business processes all in one centralized location. However, recent years have proved the numerous benefits of “migrating your business to the cloud.”
Cloud in Small Businesses
Today, almost every large corporation and multinational company transacts its business processes through the cloud. Migrating to the cloud makes a lot of sense for large firms with seemingly unlimited budgets. But what about small businesses? Is the cost of moving to the cloud worth it? Is it time for you to do so? This article will provide you with seven ways cloud solutions can benefit your small business.
Cloud connectivity is a powerful tool because it allows you and your team to collaborate in real time from anywhere worldwide (as long as everyone has internet access). Services such as those offered by Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and DropBox, among others, can provide you and your employees greater flexibility to work from anywhere. With remote collaboration, you don’t have to worry about being too tied to your office or headquarters.
Have you ever experienced a laptop crash while working on something important or had a hard drive suddenly become unreadable when you desperately needed the files that were on it? Then when you tried to recover the data you needed, you are told those are gone forever? Moving your data to the cloud helps prevent these types of headaches. One of the main features of most cloud-based apps is the capability to automatically backup and recover your data. So, even if a power outage or hardware malfunctions while working on something important, you can quickly recover your work with a click or two.
One of the more widespread cloud applications is file storage services. Even if your business isn’t very tech-savvy, you will appreciate having significant file storage capacity. In fact, it’s no longer advisable to keep your inventory logs, client information databases, and even employee information on physical, on-site archives. Storing everything on the cloud also allows you access to all these documents anywhere you are. Then, if security is a concern, as the owner and administrator of your small business’s cloud, you can also have complete control over who gets access to these files. In addition, moving all your files to the cloud allows you to run a more sustainable business by empowering your operations to go entirely paperless.
We understand that data security tends to be one of the main reasons small business owners have been so cautious about exploring the cloud. Although security may have been a valid and pressing concern when the cloud was in its early stages, the industry has made significant progress since then. While you would still need to do your part in securing your sensitive data, most cloud service providers have now equipped their products with additional security measures. One example of this is the decentralization of data through blockchain technology. This makes the stored information on the cloud much more difficult for hackers to crack.
Scalable Growth Planning
A common misconception regarding cloud services is that they require a significant upfront investment. However, in reality, cloud services are very scalable. This means you can always pay for the services and access level you need for now. For example, you can start by paying for the smallest storage capacity and move only some of your files to the cloud. Eventually, as your business grows, you can increase your usage. Since the cloud is self-managed by the providers, you may also be able to eliminate the need for an in-house IT staff to manage your data and technology needs. As you scale your business, you will also be able to scale your cloud services.
Do you still host your company’s email on your own servers? Or maybe you haven’t had a chance to create personalized or individualized email addresses for all your staff members. This is an additional area where you can maximize cloud solutions. Moving your email hosting to a cloud-powered service means you won’t have to manage or invest in servers to run your company email. The cloud service provider will be responsible for that. To top it off, cloud-hosted email is typically more affordable than on-site servers.
While the pandemic may not have rendered brick-and-mortar stores completely obsolete, it has increased your customers’ reliance on online shopping. If you’re running an online store or considering moving your physical store online, cloud-based e-commerce platforms are the way to go. Platforms like Shopify have been unparalleled, both in ease of use and cost, that ending their in-house store management is now a no-brainer. Cloud-based e-commerce platforms are a breeze to scale without the costly investment of necessary hardware.
Moving Your Business To The Cloud
Now that you have learned how helpful cloud solutions can be for your small business, we’ll leave it to you to decide when the right time is to make the transition. If you need more information on cloud services or want assistance moving your business operations to the cloud, schedule a 15-minute free consultation with our team today to get started.
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