Small businesses usually don’t have the budget for state-of-the-art data centers or the technology that powers them. But thanks to cloud computing solutions, small businesses can take advantage of applications and tools that were once perhaps a pipe dream.
Here are five ways small businesses can gain an edge from cloud computing solutions and services:
- Improved uptime and data availability. If there’s one thing that can crush a small business, it’s a systems crash that loses or blocks access to critical data. Many cloud computing providers are large enough that they can afford data center redundancy controls like backup sites, multiple Internet connections, or data replication— controls that are often cost prohibitive to small businesses looking to house critical IT functions internally.
- Controlled infrastructure costs. Most cloud computing solutions providers can invest in state-of-the-art technology including the latest servers, applications, and operating systems—all of which allow small businesses to scale with minimal investments. This cost savings is better spent on the product or service the company provides, not on the infrastructure used to run the business.
- Application performance optimization. Because cloud computing solutions providers can afford better IT equipment, the applications will undoubtedly run better and faster and contain more features than running on small business technology housed internally (at least most of the time).
- Improved company agility. Small businesses may start small, but they also tend to grow. Small businesses generally relocate offices with greater frequency than larger organizations, which can be difficult with internal IT infrastructures. Cloud computing providers make relocation a seamless endeavor. Many small businesses today also run virtually, meaning no office locations at all, making cloud-based applications a smart decision.
- Lower IT headcount. In a perfect world, all small businesses have an internal IT staff, but that’s not always the case. Cloud computing providers can offer the IT expertise to manage applications and infrastructure, without the need for added headcount and the associated costs that go with it—payroll, benefits, taxes, etc.
Small businesses can become the big businesses of tomorrow, but they need every edge they can get until then. The agility and cost savings that cloud computing services can provide are too compelling to ignore, and while data security certainly needs to be considered, many cloud providers are up to the challenge. Be sure to ask the right questions of your cloud provided before diving in, but when all questions are answered, the cloud and small business are a perfect match.