What Small Businesses Need to Know about Cloud ComputingSeptember 10, 2013 No Comments
Cloud computing may sound like the next big technology fad that only large companies with an IT budget can afford to experiment with, but the truth is completely the opposite. In today’s fast-paced business world where software and technology are critical to everything from marketing and sales to daily tasks like word processing, an affordable computing option is exactly what small businesses need. With the cloud, small businesses can get off the ground sooner and expand much more rapidly than they could with an inhouse system. In fact, the cloud has the potential to significantly lower the barriers small business owners face in competing with large companies. Here are five reasons why.
1. Lower Start-up Costs
Starting a business requires a huge amount of upfront cash from business owners. Technology can be one of the biggest investments, with everything from the hardware to the software to the maintenance coming with a high price. Cloud computing significantly lowers this cost by providing the infrastructure and the software all for a monthly fee, or in some cases such as Google docs, replaces a hundred dollar software package for free. Data storage is also expensive, but a cloud database eliminates the need to invest in a data warehouse along with warehouse maintenance costs. This lowers the playing field for small business owners to be able to start running their business faster with access to the same software many of the big businesses are using.
2. Little IT Knowledge Required
Most entrepreneurs don’t start a business to be an IT expert and can’t afford to hire a team of experts right off the bat. With SaaS platforms, business owners don’t have to manage IT at all. The cloud computing service will handle all of the maintenance work for them along with software licenses, allowing the owner to focus on running and building their business.
3. Access Advanced Technology
A huge percentage of business has moved online, forcing businesses to use advanced technology and IT systems, such as Hadoop and mobile apps, to keep up with their customers. Investing in big data research, or even a basic mobile app that can cost millions of dollars to develop, is generally outside the scope of a small business’s budget. However, as big data as a service has become available along with white-label apps that allow small businesses to use an app for less than a hundred dollars a month, cloud services have brought advanced technology within reach of the small business owner.
4. Better Security
The main objection businesses have with cloud computing is the lack of control they have over their data. This creates concerns about how secure the data is and if the system will be available when they need it. While a large system’s failure tends to make the news, the reality is many cloud services offer more security than a small business could provide for itself. For example, an electric surge could wipe out all of the records on a company computer. As many small companies don’t make constant backups of their files, thousands of important data points could be lost. On the other hand, if that company used a cloud service, backups would have been made on an ongoing basis to prevent data loss.
5. Easier Collaboration
Before the cloud, collaboration on a project was a nightmare, especially if co workers, clients or vendors worked in different states or countries. Emailing files and keeping track of changes was inefficient and often led to costly mistakes. With cloud computing, every employee and vendor can access company data from wherever they are, allowing businesses to stay focused and operate faster to get their product on the market and focus on building the company, not keeping track of documents.
by Rick DelGado, Independent Author
“I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I’ve started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.” – Rick DelGadoCLOUD COMPUTING, DATA and ANALYTICS , Fresh Ink, SECURITY