Cloud computing has come of age and it's not just large global corporations that are using it in their day-to-day operations. Small business too can benefit in a significant way by adopting Cloud technology. It can give you access to various applications and business data from any location and at any time via any mobile device, at a very reasonable pricing.
Why Move to Cloud?
A number of desktop applications are now vanishing; software vendors are veering away from desktop offerings and have moved all their products to Cloud. They now offer reasonably-priced, Cloud subscription services that are ideal for small businesses. There are a number of reasons why small businesses should consider transitioning to Cloud.
- You won't have to pay for a team/individual for services such as installing and updating software, installing and managing file servers or email servers and run backups etc. The primary benefit of cloud computing is that it is the cloud vendor's responsibility to maintain the application and service it; you don't have to channel any energies into it yourself.
- No more buying software and installing them on your computers and servers and Cloud computing is significantly cheaper as well.
- You might also be able to utilise just one multi-application service to collate all your different application requirements. For example, Google Apps for Business offers excellent functions such as - calendar scheduling application, email, Google Sites for creating websites, Google Docs for creating documents as well as forms and presentations using online file storage, all at a very reasonable cost. The conventional office application suite from Microsoft used to be available only in a desktop version and was prohibitively expensive. Now, that too is available as Office 365, the Cloud-based version. It includes Skype connectivity, online video conferences and a number of other useful features that can be used in small business operations.
- Once you move to cloud, you will also be able to reduce the amount of system hardware you use. Software programs, data backup and file storage, all take up a considerable amount of space on your computers or servers. However, with cloud computing, you get to store all this important data on someone else's servers. This frees-up a lot of space on your in-house computer equipment, which you can use for other critical processes.
- A good Cloud computing system also makes integration much easier. This is because most Cloud computing applications also have an API (Application Programming Interface) and you may find it easier to find applications that are compatible, rather than having to shell out money for applications that you want integrated and customized for you.
- Every cloud computing system gets updated regularly and you don't have to spend any additional time or money for that. This also gives you the advantage of having constant access to the latest functions and features of the application.
- You and your staff will have quick access to data and applications even from remote locations as these applications can be accessed via mobile devices and computers. This proves to be a distinct advantage, especially for executives that are on the move. It becomes easier for you to coordinate with your team and all the relevant people can have access to all the information they need, at any time, and from anywhere in the world.
No matter which way you look at it, Cloud computing offers a number of benefits to small business owners.
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About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.