With remote work culture and digital transformation on the upsurge, moving your operations to the cloud should be a no-brainer, especially for small businesses.
If you’re a small business owner, chances are that you’re already using cloud computing unknowingly.
Firing emails on the move? Most email marketing platforms are cloud-powered. Using project management apps to schedule tasks and allocate resources? That’s cloud computing again. Hell, watching movies on Netflix? Even that’s cloud computing.
In short, cloud computing is our new normal.
But why has cloud computing become such a rage all of a sudden? That’s because it offers many benefits to businesses, especially those with small budgets.
To learn that answer, read on.
Why Your Small Business Needs to Leverage Cloud Computing
Hosting business data and software on the cloud should be a priority for small business owners. That way, they can enjoy these ten advantages of cloud hosting:
1. Enhanced Flexibility
As small businesses grow and evolve, their bandwidth demands also change. With cloud computing, it’s incredibly easy to scale your cloud capacity up and down. You can maintain operational efficiency and reduce downtime when your data and resources are hosted on remote servers.
2. Hassle-Free Data Recovery
If you’ve lost invaluable business data, you know what a blow that can be for a small business. It’s not just a matter of losing some files. There’s also the cost and effort involved in data recovery. By CloudRadar’s estimates, the cost of network outage costs U.S. businesses $10K per hour.
However, using reliable managed cloud hosting platforms can help you buck the trend. With their superior tools and expertise, you can rest assured that your sensitive business information is in secure hands. All kinds of data-recovery tasks – from wiping data from lost laptops to retrieving lost data from servers – can be performed by cloud-service providers.
With these mundane but critical tasks taken care of, you can focus on developing market-differentiating solutions and grow your business.
3. No Software Update Hassles
Your IT maintenance costs can decrease by 16.79% by adopting the cloud. When your servers are off-premise, you need not bother about updating software and applications time and again. All of these tasks are managed by your cloud-hosting providers, leaving you with more resources for developmental tasks.
4. Reduced Operational Costs
Owing to the subscription-based business models offered by cloud-hosting providers, small businesses don’t have to set aside a large amount of capital for IT software and hardware. The pay-as-you-go model frees up cash flow for day-to-day operations. Not only do your monthly costs go down significantly, cloud computing involves minimal capital expenditure for set up and management as well.
5. Happier Employees
Ever heard of “happy employees, happy bottom lines?” It’s actually true. According to a Buffer survey, employees are happiest when they are allowed to work remotely 76% of their working time.
With cloud computing, your employees can work from anywhere, achieving the work-life balance they desire. With trends like Bring-Your-Own-Device on the rise, SMBs (small and mid-sized businesses) can provide their staff with freedom, without compromising on productivity or security.
6. Seamless Team Collaboration
While flexibility is one of the biggest perks of working remotely, it’s also true that team collaboration can take a hit if you don’t have a robust tech stack in place. With cloud-based team-communication tools like Slack and its alternatives, your onsite and off-site teams can collaborate seamlessly and get more work done.
You can build workflows, share files, post real-time updates, and schedule task follow-ups in a jiffy with cloud-powered team management apps. Plus, enhanced visibility into team collaborations fosters trust which can improve overall morale and work culture.
7. Easy Document Version Control
Version control is non-negotiable when it comes to collaborative working. With cloud computing, all of your data and files are stored at a central location and changes are reflected in real-time, meaning one source of truth for all.
By assigning roles to team members, you can regulate document versioning and avoid data disasters.
8. Robust IT Security and Governance
In 2020, companies lost $3.86 million owing to data breaches, caused mainly by human negligence and malicious attacks. It’s no wonder that companies, big and small, are making IT security and data privacy a priority following the introduction of GDPR.
For small businesses, it’s even more imperative that they safeguard customer data and privacy. It not only opens up future business prospects but also fosters customer trust, bringing in repeat sales.
When you use cloud-computing-based sales automation platforms like Salesforce, it’s the responsibility of the vendor to look after data security 24×7 and follow compliance requirements. With tools like these, SMBs can collect and protect data as efficiently as large enterprises, without blowing their budgets.
9. Competitive Advantage
Modern consumers expect brands to be at the helm of technology. According to Salesforce’s survey of 15K global consumers, 75% of people said they want to engage with brands that are tech-savvy. It goes without saying that your small business can project the right image by leveraging a disruptive technology like cloud computing.
10. Good for Sustainability
Moving to the cloud is not just good for your business; it’s good for the environment too.
When your business needs fluctuate, your cloud capacity and energy consumption scales up and down automatically to fit your needs. As a result, you don’t leave oversized carbon footprints. Which means consumers will see you as a more eco-friendly business.
Ready to Grow Your Small Business with Cloud Computing?
To compete with bigger players, small businesses need to leverage technologies like cloud computing. It not only cuts costs, but makes your business more agile, adaptive, and competitive.
Do you still have doubts whether or not to use cloud computing for your business? Share your concerns in the comments. I’ll be happy to provide you with expert advice, tools, and hacks.