One of the buzzwords in the IT arena of recent times, is the concept of cloud computing. Many firms have taken on board cloud computing services to conduct their business operations, and small firms in particular have reaped the benefits to be gained. Here’s the lowdown on the advantages of cloud computing for small businesses.
What is cloud computing?
For those not in the know, cloud computing is basically about using applications from the internet to conduct a host of business operations. The cloud, essentially, refers to the internet. A user connects to the application through their internet browser, without the need to install software or installation discs onto a computer or server.
A wide range of uses
Cloud computing is a favourable option for many businesses, especially small ones, as it allows them to complete a wide range of tasks. You can use cloud computing for emailing, storing or working with files and documents and sharing data.
Once you’ve downloaded the application you want onto your personal device – be it your laptop or mobile phone – you can use it anywhere. This is particularly advantageous for small firms who may lack human resources at the office to complete tasks. In effect, it can also mean that you could have staff at the other end of the globe working on files and sharing data with you through cloud services.
Because you are downloading applications from the internet, you have instant access to cloud services. If you were relying on having to install hardware or discs onto your computer, there might be a lag in time whilst you wait to get it ordered and shipped out. This may be a crucial element for a small business, who needs to react quickly in order to be competitive and grow. You also don’t have to wait for the latest versions and updates to become available, as you can download updates as soon as they are released.
Many small business owners may lack technical expertise, so will want to use IT services that are easy to maintain and not too complicated. Cloud services offer a low maintenance way to use applications, as the user doesn’t need to troubleshoot any applications. Many firms using cloud computing don’t require as much internal IT resources as those that don’t use them.
Keeping costs down is of top priority to a small business, so investing in cloud computing can be advantageous, as it doesn’t rely on having to buy expensive hardware. With cloud computing you can be flexible and scale your costs to your needs. Cloud services are also usually cheaper than other software packages, and you are often able to invest in more flexible packages, either a monthly or yearly basis, or even as a pay-as-you-go service. There is also no need to buy expensive servers or offline storage space. This reduction in costs can have a positive impact on a small business, which is then able to plough the savings made in other aspects of their operations.
Back-up and security
For any business, no matter what its size, back-up of data and its security are of paramount concern. Cloud computing is able to offer robust back-up and recovery tools, as well as feature current antivirus protection, management of spam and privacy protection.
This advice on cloud computing was written in collaboration with wdstorage.co.uk. Having worked with many small businesses, they like to write content that is helpful for their clientele as well as guest blog on similar topics.