Is the cloud out of reach for small businesses? The cloud has been written off by some as just another business buzzword. However, it far from being a flash in the pan. It is here to stay because the cloud can have extremely important applications for both huge corporations and the smallest of small businesses. This is why cloud adoption rates have been skyrocketing for several years now. Industry statistics state that 85 per cent of companies have implemented a multiple cloud strategy.
4 Business Cloud Integrations for Small Businesses
The reason why cloud adoption rates are so high is that of the great benefits the cloud can offer businesses in regards to lowering costs and improving efficiency. There are many different possibilities for a company to take advantage of what the cloud can offer. Below are a few cloud strategies you should consider for your own business.
One of the most useful applications for the cloud is to back up a company’s files. With 75 per cent of companies planning to invest in big data strategies, being able to safely retain a company’s data is more important than ever. Thanks to big data analytics, data is now a valuable resource that could provide a company with a competitive edge to the tune of millions of dollars in increased revenues.
Unfortunately, data is also very fragile.
Things that can destroy it forever include power surges, bad weather, and a server getting too warm. Storing your data in-house on your own hardware can be a significant risk.
While these same risks exist for traditional hosting providers, cloud hosts are much more secure due to the redundant nature of how a cloud network shares data. It’s extremely difficult if not impossible to wipe out data from the cloud completely unless it’s done on purpose.
Traditionally, software was about products. It was bought and then installed by the customer. While there may have been a limited warranty, support services tended to be rather scant if available at all. Software that did come with tech support was rather cumbersome in regards to getting help troubleshooting problems in a timely fashion.
However, cloud-powered software has changed this completely. It transformed what was previously a product into a service. For example, if you want bookkeeping for small business software, you can order a subscription for a cloud version. What is amazing about cloud-powered software is it is loaded directly over the internet. Nothing has to be installed. Any troubleshooting and maintenance are performed on the vendor’s end. This can help to greatly lower the need to have expensive IT staff in-house.
While you can invest in many different kinds of cloud-powered software such as office applications, bookkeeping software and more, you may want to go for an entirely cloud-powered approach for your entire network. Many cloud hosting providers offer networks as a service much like the do for software.
Having a cloud-powered network has certain great advantages. For one, since the network can be connected to via the cloud, that means employees can access the network from anywhere.
They don’t have to be restricted to an office in a central hub with physical connections to the computer hardware running the network. This can allow a company to invest more in a telecommuting strategy. Businesses could save $11,000 a year per employee (according to entrepreneur.com) by letting employees telecommute half the workweek.
The cloud is also useful for storing files you may want access to during different times of the day. If you upload a document, product blueprints for example, to the cloud, you won’t be limited to your office if you want to view that file. You could do so from home, in the hotel or even while on the plane.
Overall, there are plenty of great applications for the cloud for small businesses. The above four strategies can help to bring down overhead and improve the efficiency of different business processes as well. Consider different ways you can implement the cloud into your company.