Cloud computing was once thought of as an extremely technical development — one that was only needed for large-scale and multinational businesses. This reputation becomes evident when you consider that cloud computing has actually been around since 1996, but it’s only been within the last decade or so where cloud computing became accessible to the wider public.
In essence, cloud computing involves managing and processing data — something that we are now constantly surrounded by on a daily basis. In fact, Pew Research Center notes that 9 out of 10 American adults depend on the internet for information and other personal reasons. If this is the case for private smartphone users, what more for businesses? Between customer accounts, campaigns, and sales records, there’s a lot of data on the line.
That said, there are lots of reasons to invest in cloud computing, even if your business isn’t as big as IBM or Microsoft. Here are some of them for you to consider:
One common criticism against cloud computing is that it isn’t secure — a myth that we previously debunked with the ‘13 All Time Greatest Myths of Cloud Computing Security’. Encryption, firewalls, and intrusion scans are all put in place by cloud providers to ensure that your business’ data remains safe. These features can be maintained on the cloud, but businesses that wish to go the extra mile can set up their own security protocol to complement this.
Frees up employee time
Team members can upload files directly to the cloud, minimizing lag time and freeing them up for more important tasks. Physical data servers also take a lot of work to maintain, and can halt business operations indefinitely in the event of a breakdown. Cloud computing bypasses these risks, which can end up saving your company lots of time and money in the long run.
Data at your fingertips
Because your data isn’t tied to a physical server, practically any machine connected to the cloud can access it. This can provide a competitive advantage for businesses. There are a number of cloud platforms out there, which makes picking up the basics accessible even without a tech background. This is evident when you take a look at the selection of beginner-friendly cloud computing courses that are featured on learning marketplace Udemy, which cover everything from the basic concepts to Microsoft integration. All in all, updating yourself with the necessary information is the key to staying ahead of the competition. By accessing and analyzing trends as they happen, your company can quickly innovate and match the needs of your market.
Scalability is a pressing concern for most small businesses, whether you plan to increase your business’s size or expand your services. Scaling the cloud can be as simple as subscribing to a larger data package. In fact, lots of cloud providers have different packages depending on your company’s needs. This means that you can scale your business gradually without worrying about large investments up front.
Extensive file sharing
Marketing is crucial for small businesses. The Balance notes that a good marketing plan combines social media, emails, and traditional word of mouth. This approach to outreach can result in all kinds of marketing collateral, from videos to photos. These files can take up a lot of time and thus slow down physical hardware, which isn’t the case with the cloud.
The wealth of cloud providers and packages means that small businesses can access the technology. Investing in cloud computing could be the key to making your business take that leap to the next level.