Jun 01, 2012

Jun 01, 2012

BMIT: Cloud Tips for small businesses

Cloud computing presents both time and money-saving benefits, making it a great fit for small businesses. In fact, small businesses that are not part of the cloud could very well be missing out on opportunities that could help them grow and take their businesses to the next level.

The cloud has given small business owners access to software and hardware which in the past were only available to big players. Cloud services are an excellent leveler, as they give the small business owner access to the best tools around, yet without a huge capital investment and without having to pay for an in-house IT expert for maintenance. When one considers that the most important concerns for small businesses are saving money and increasing productivity and uptime, one can clearly see that the cloud achieves all three aims very ably. 

Perhaps the most noticeable way in which small businesses benefit from using the cloud is through a significant reduction in costs. If you use cloud services, you will need to spend much less on IT-related costs, such as servers, software and support devices which are normally required as part of business. Network management costs will also be decreased, given that the cloud can be used as central hub for deployments, while the overall information technology expenses are certain to decrease as well. In many instances all capital costs are eliminated, and hence such cost reductions can have a significant impact on the business’ profitability.

The difference in cost comes because of the fundamentally different payment philosophy. With cloud computing, you pay only for what you use, making this far friendlier to small business than the approach of traditional hardware, software, and IT purchases which eat away at the financial resources of so many small businesses due to the initial costs involved.

Yet another significant advantage small businesses enjoy when using the cloud is its inherent capability to scale up or down as required in very short order. Be it increasing storage or processing power or having spikes in web traffic, the cloud has you covered, and better still, you don’t have to get your hands dirty and take care of any of it; it’s all in the hands of your supplier.

With the cloud, you are empowered to add software and hardware as your needs arise, without having to worry about running out of space, data or hardware at the moment you need them most. 

Updating becomes similarly painless when using the cloud. If you’re using a Software as a Service, all updates are the responsibility of the provider, and you’ll never have to worry about downtime, data loss or anything of the sort. Similarly, if you’re updating your own software, rather than calling in the IT department, all you need to do is upload it to the cloud and let it filter through to all of your computers.

Perhaps one of the most practical and tangible examples of the cloud’s advantages is its disdain for location. If you use a cloud service, you can use it anywhere in the world you are, off any device which supports the internet. In these wildly technological times, people and products are on the move all the time, and to stay competitive, your business and your people need the ability to access information and keep your business up to date, no matter where they are. The cloud provides this advantage. Regardless of where your employees, your clients, and your business partners are in the world right now, they’re free to connect and keep updated, to the second!

The cloud is an exciting innovation for all small business owners, as it presents an unprecedented level playing field with technology. Investing in the cloud is a wise business move which will save you time, money and hassles in the future.

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