Computing capacities and technology for businesses have been constantly increasing and improving. The transformative influence of the cloud in particular has changed how businesses work. Many companies today are leveraging cloud technology to meet the demands of their ever-changing business needs.

The cloud can make a tremendous difference in the productivity and profitability of your company. It has allowed small and midmarket businesses to access the same kind of services that, until recently, had only been available to enterprise-level companies.

Adapting to the rapidly-changing business and technology world

Understandably, your small business may be hesitant to regularly update your technology since it can be a costly investment, and the management of IT can be demanding to say the least.

But your business cannot afford to neglect the impact of new technologies, especially when your competitors are exploring every opportunity to offer better and more affordable services to the same customers you want to attract.

According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) multi-client study, 58% of all organizations surveyed are already embracing public or private cloud for more than one or two small applications or workloads.

Cloud technology today brings with it increased productivity and, most importantly, a reduction in business infrastructure cost. Your company will spend less on IT administration when you adopt cloud technology, because your needs will be managed by a cloud computing provider who will ensure that your business has the latest technology and protection and enable you to focus on your primary concerns: revenue growth and attracting new customers.

Keep in mind too that cloud adoption isn’t an all or nothing game; your cloud transition can be a progression. Start small, moving certain workloads like email to the cloud and leaving others on premises.

Once you see the value, you can start moving more of your applications and infrastructure to the cloud. Basic cloud options don’t have to be expensive either. Microsoft Office 365’s Business subscriptions start as low $5 per user per month.

Cloud adoption and keeping your data secure

If you have read about the transformative nature of cloud technology, you’ve likely come across some myths about a lack of cloud security as well, which may be delaying its adoption in your business. In fact, a 2014 survey indicated that low awareness of what the cloud actually is seems to be the greatest barrier to cloud technology adoption.

The security of your business infrastructure and data should, of course, be a top priority. Business applications have to be monitored regularly, patched when a security hole is found and maintained constantly. Looming online threats demand that you invest in the best security apps to protect your business.

But cloud vendors take great measures to make sure your data is secure as well. They know that without your trust they wouldn’t be able to sustain their businesses, and they work hard to protect your valuable information from data breaches.

Microsoft has robust policies, controls, and systems built right into Office 365 that are designed to keep your information safe and give you complete control on how your data is used and accessed. Additionally, your business data will always be backed up so disaster recovery won’t be an issue either.

Why the cloud will work for your small business

Adopting a new business technology will be a significant change not only for your business but for your employees. However, chances are some of your staff are already using a few cloud apps to manage their personal files, so the learning curve may not be as steep as you imagine.

Cloud services can also give you an important edge that allows you to focus on your core business. Microsoft Office 365 is the Office you know plus additional tools to help you work better with your team — anytime, anywhere. And with OneDrive for Business, you can manage your work files, share them, and collaborate on them with others from any device.

If you are still not sure how cloud technology can help your business, the best approach is to go for a trial run to get a good understanding of how it can benefit your processes. Many cloud service providers offer free trial periods for new users so you can actually try it out before you commit to paid options. During your trial period, observe the changes and impact that your chosen cloud service brings to your business.

Don’t just focus on the pricing after your trial period when you’re ready to upgrade, take other factors into consideration like reliability, scalability, and most importantly ongoing support for your business. Ask questions and get answers to your primary concerns for each cloud solution you choose.

These days, the cloud is a no-brainer for many startups on a budget that need to concentrate on their core businesses. When you make the decision to adopt cloud apps, choose the simple, uncomplicated cloud platforms like Office 365 that can help you get started with little or no adoption issues.

The collaborative nature of cloud tools like Office, Power BI, and Microsoft Azure will actually save your business money as your teams grow more efficient, allowing them more time to focus on the things that are important to your company.

As your business grows, so too can your cloud solutions. One of the biggest advantages of cloud services is their ability to scale as your business needs grow. You won’t have to worry about getting employees at the office and those in different locations to collaborate and communicate effectively, because the cloud creates a space for them to do just that. Productivity won’t be a problem.

Cloud services make it easier to expand your services without the limits of physical business infrastructure. Where do you see your small business in five years? What are your goals? Make the most of cloud tools to achieve them.