A recent study by Intuit and Emergent Research shows that 78 percent of small businesses will be equipped to use cloud computing by 2020, up from 37 percent in 2014. These companies, which employ less than 50 people, can benefit greatly from migrating to the cloud. Understanding how the cloud works can help you see why cloud computing is a smart choice for your business.
Understanding the Cloud
Traditional IT solutions require an onsite infrastructure of hardware and software to handle business applications. Cloud-based computing outsources this system to a remote server that’s managed by a third party and accessible from anywhere. Businesses pay for the use of the server and the associated software solutions. Several types of cloud services are available, but a public cloud is the most common type used by small businesses.
Why Cloud Computing Works for Small Businesses
Moving your IT operations to the cloud makes running your business easier in several ways:
1. It Saves Money
Thanks to packages known as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the cloud provides everything you need to support day-to-day business tasks. Instead of having to invest in expensive hardware and multiple software licenses, you pay one monthly fee to a service provider for access to what you need, when you need it.
2. It Saves Time
Cloud service providers take care of software and hardware updates, troubleshooting and other IT tasks that would otherwise fall to you or your employees.This ensures that essential applications are always up to date and that your business doesn’t suffer from downtime in the event of a hardware malfunction.
3. It Makes Collaboration Easier
Storing information in the cloud gives all employees access to the same documents and data. This eliminates the need to email information back and forth and allows teams to collaborate on projects — whether they’re in the office or halfway around the world. Employees “in the field” can add data immediately rather than having to wait until they’re back at the office, which makes projects roll along faster.
4. It Offers a Competitive Edge
Customer relationship management in the modern business world involves an enormous amount of data. Sorting all the information and using it to update marketing techniques, manage social media interactions and guide consumers through the purchasing funnel can be a full-time job. Cloud solutions offer ways to handle this data and coordinate appropriate responses through a variety of channels to help small businesses keep up with larger competitors in the marketplace.
5. It Grows With the Company
Since you only pay for what you use with cloud computing solutions, all you have to do as your business expands is to purchase more space or add access for new employees. You don’t have to wait for additional hardware or software to be configured, and if you find that you have more than you need, it’s easy to scale back without losing any money.
6. It Increases Security
Storing data remotely in the cloud means that even if a device is stolen or compromised, the thief won’t be able to access sensitive business data. Plus, companies like UDT, that offer SaaS and IaaS have measures in place to keep sensitive business information safe. Regular backups and integrated disaster recovery solutions ensure that the data you need is accessible no matter what happens.
According to the National Small Business Association, 40 percent of small businesses are now handling their own IT services. UDT’s IT Managed Services can help you make the switch to cloud-based computing and setting up scalable solutions for your company. Contact us today to see why cloud computing is your best option for data management.