To say that cloud computing has transformed how we produce, process and distribute business information would be the understatement of the century. While full-scale cloud adoption has had its fair share of challenges making traction with larger scale and smaller companies alike, it’s undeniable that cloud platforms as diverse as DropBox, SalesForce and Skype have made life easier. In company meetings and official business documentation we call this “efficiency,” but that’s exactly what the cloud is about. It takes computing-heavy processes and helps businesses transform them into easily-managed and delivered services.
The Cloud Problem: Small Businesses vs. the Cloud
According to a recent report by IT research analyst firm Freeform Dynamics, roughly 70% of small businesses state they aren’t likely to migrate to the cloud in the near future, and some won’t bother with the cloud integration discussion at all. This is telling in a lot of ways. First and foremost though, it reveals a misunderstanding of how the cloud can be used to benefit their business and boost their bottom line. Let’s investigate some real-world ways the cloud makes life easier, or, “boosts efficiency”.
The Cloud Solution: Efficiency
· Cloud Backup – According to DataLossDB.org, there were upwards of 1500 incidences of major data loss in 2012. Only a few months into 2013, there has already been reported over 350 instances. The bottom line is that you’ll lose data at some point, and your robust security tools won’t make a difference. What matters is what you do in the event of lost data. For small businesses, cloud backups are a cheap and easy solution that allow for simple off-site backup procedures matched with seamless data recovery tools.
· Cloud Storage Solutions – Cloud backup storage is easily the most popular type of cloud-based service out there. It has transformed the way we view data storage. Instead of opting for bigger, better and faster on-premise storage components, we seek out robust cloud storage platforms similar to DropBox, Google Drive and Box.net. While SMBs aren’t eager to fully jump on the cloud bandwagon, they are likely using cloud storage store information to make it more accessible to certain team members.
· Affordability, Scalability, Flexibility, etc – Affordability, scalability and flexibility is at the core of the cloud, and is often overestimated or underestimated, but not rightly understood within the adoption conversations that many businesses are having. The truth is from a cost and scalability perspective, you really only pay for what you use. From there, as your business grows or scales back its needs, you can almost instantly scale up or back your cloud services to meet your needs. This allows you to focus your IT budget on business-specific tools that help grow your business.
SMB Growth through Cloud Services
Whether you’re renting access to applications, or you’re using a cloud-based platform to deliver a more meaningful user experience to your customer base, the cloud can and does make life easier for your business. It allows you to focus on what matters: growing your business.