The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Why Small Businesses Should Use the Cloud
Published on Oct 12, 2012
Check out 'Why Small Businesses Should Use the Cloud' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
A new trend that many entrepreneurs are integrating into their company formation plans is cloud computing, which can give small businesses many benefits never seen before, enabling more rapid expansion. You can use the cloud to save money, reduce risk and increase accessibility and mobility. The cloud uses internet-based servers to provide services to a business, which can include bookkeeping, customer relationship management, data storage, file sharing or word processing.
The cloud increases mobility
A number of small businesses are looking to employ a mobile workforce, which is why the cloud has gained so much popularity in recent years. With access to a high-speed internet connection becoming common everywhere, small businesses are beginning to use the cloud to allow their employees to work outside the office. The cloud allows small businesses to put their software on the internet, which is a way for employees to access their mission-critical files from anywhere they can log on. Using document sharing services allows small businesses to keep their information in the cloud, where it is secure but accessible to all workers who need it. Document sharing over the internet eliminates the need for business associates to constantly send large files with attachments over the internet.
The cloud costs less
Many cloud services offer a pay-as-you-go type of payment plan, which allows small businesses to only pay for what they use without being tied down by long-term contracts. Software-as-a-service and hardware-as-a-service models cost significantly less than hard-drive-suffocating operating systems. Small business owners can also invest in a cloud backup service, which allows businesses to cut down on IT staffing needs and use fewer pieces of hardware.
The cloud improves efficiency
With the cloud, businesses do not have to worry about power requirements, space considerations or software updates. Without these concerns, businesses save a significant amount of time. The cloud takes care of all of these things for its users, and offers unprecedented scalability. Users can adjust their cloud to their needs by adding more licenses and storage space when necessary. Small businesses can also improve efficiency when using the cloud by using a cloud-based customer relationship management system, which provides tools for a business to improve its dealings with customers, clients and prospects.
The cloud reduces risk
Security is as important as ever for small businesses and their clients, who can be severely affected by a security breach. Cloud computing adds a layer of security for its users by backing up data off-site, decreasing the potential for hackers, viruses and other cybersecurity issues. While the cloud doesn't have total security, security options are improving and concerns are beginning to lessen. Small business owners must remember that they are responsible for their security. While cloud vendors may promise certain aspects of security, small business owners still must be sure they have all of their business filings where they must be in their cloud environment.
The cloud continues to evolve
Due to the newness of the technology, the cloud is still not a perfect product. Vendors are continuing to improve their products and innovate new offerings. The cloud will continue to add new aspects designed to improve business functions. Having quick access to these new resources will give small businesses an opportunity to adjust to them, and use them as they wish to gain a competitive edge over other SMBs that lag in cloud adoption.