The cloud is rapidly taking over the business world. According to Logic Monitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: the Future of the Cloud Study, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. While 41% of enterprise workloads will be on public cloud platforms, 20% will be private-cloud-based, and 22% will be running on hybrid cloud platforms.
Most people think that cloud computing is the forte of only large organizations. However, your small business is no exception to this growing trend as technology becomes increasingly affordable and agile. Irrespective of your business’s size or market niche, cloud computing can take it to a whole new level.
Here are a few compelling reasons that should encourage you to embrace the cloud.
One of the primary benefits of cloud computing is flexibility. It allows you and your employees to work from any location and access important files and data anytime. All you need is a web-enabled device and authorization to access the information.
Both, employees and employers have started to recognize the importance of a healthy work-life balance. With cloud computing, your employees can take advantage of the opportunity to work from home. Working from home is becoming increasingly common as demand for more flexible work environments is on the rise.
Employees who work from home are productive and save infrastructure overheads. Further, companies offering the work-from-home option witnessed employee turnover rates fall by over 50%. It’s no surprise that the number of employers offering work-from-home has grown by 40% in the last five years.
Traditional information storage poses a problem in an increasingly globalized world. It doesn’t allow you to share data with remote employees or partners. Plus, it is necessary to make your business agile in order to thrive in a globalized economy. You need to connect with your vendors and talk to your customers as quickly as possible to stay ahead of your competitors.
This is where the cloud comes in. With cloud computing, you can share critical data and files across multiple platforms easily. Thus, you can quickly update your business partners anywhere in the world and ensure real-time communication to avoid delays or disruptions. Plus, the cloud also eliminates redundancies in your business processes, resulting in better decision-making capabilities.
Running an on-site IT infrastructure is an expensive endeavor, especially for a small business. You need multiple computers, laptops, servers, and other hardware along with software to run a full-fledged data center. Small businesses seldom have the financial resources or the labor to run an on-site IT setup.
The cloud, on the other hand, offers you the flexibility to pay only for the services you use. Cloud computing also eliminates the need to use physical files, rent a storage space, and get your processes tied up in paperwork.
Further, unlike an in-house system, you don’t need a substantial upfront investment to start using the cloud. Most cloud service providers charge a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription fee for the services used. You can also change your package anytime you wish.
But most importantly, the cloud opens a wide array of service provider options to you. For example, a small business looking for cloud management services in Genève can procure them from a vendor located anywhere across the globe. Thus, you can easily hire the most affordable and experienced cloud service provider without any geographical barriers.
Scalability is one of the most crucial elements of running a successful business in this extremely competitive world. In a globalized marketplace, the demand for your products may fluctuate more often than you think. As a result, you need to scale up or down your infrastructure, especially IT-related infrastructure, depending on the market demand.
With cloud computing, it is far easier to improve the scalability of your business infrastructure. When your business is booming, you can rent more storage space, increase the size of your network setup, and add new applications to your IT infrastructure.
On the other hand, when your business is slow, you can roll back to your original cloud service plan. So, you don’t have to pay for the service that you no longer need.
With the ever-increasing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches, small businesses are finding it hard to keep their data secure. However, cloud computing can offer better data security.
Small businesses can benefit from built-in cloud security features like data encryption. It is certainly much more secure compared to local data centers and servers.
Contrary to popular belief, migrating your business to the cloud isn’t a security trade-off. In fact, human error is behind most cloud-related security concerns. According to Gartner, through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures are predicted to be the customer’s fault.
In other words, you need to train your employees to use the cloud securely. If you avoid sharing confidential data such as usernames and passwords with unauthorized personnel, your business will remain secure.
Furthermore, cloud service providers have to ensure robust security as their reputation is at stake. After all, no one wants to move their business to a cloud space with a history of security breaches.
Most cloud service providers will provide you with different security features like state-of-the-art firewalls, intrusion alert systems, customer-controlled database encryption, automatic encryption of all cloud traffic, access management, and multi-factor authentication.
Cloud computing is certainly within the reach of small business owners. You can leverage cloud computing to increase the potential of your business by making it more flexible, enabling real-time communication, lowering costs, providing scalability, and increasing security. Hopefully, as cloud technology continues to evolve, it will bring more benefits for small business owners. So, when are you moving your business to the cloud? Tell us about your cloud migration goals and challenges in the comments section.