By Chris Porteous,business.com writer
Cloud-based services and software are giving small businesses an affordable way to grow their operations.
Cloud computing is one of the most critical innovations in the world of business over the past decade. Companies now have access to processing power, which doesn't necessarily need to be contained on a single machine. Information Age mentions how cost-effective the solution can be for small businesses that can't invest a lot of money into computation power. Cloud technologies have now branched out to include productivity software like G Suite.
Regardless of the size of the business, cloud computing can affect the speed and intensity of its growth through several factors.
Increased levels of productivityCloud connection means that a business doesn't have to rely on a single individual to perform complex tasks. A single job can be distributed to collective specialists, making data processing more efficient.
New Horizons reports that businesses that invest in the cloud have the advantage of offering employees a seamless connection to their work and access to collaborative tools. Thanks to the data being stored on the cloud, the business doesn't have to worry about a virus or hardware failure wiping out that information irreparably.
Updated versions of filesCloud storage is another cloud-based technology that already has a profound impact on business. For those of us who understand how on-premise backup systems work, we know that there's a certain lag-time in between backups where data failures can seep into. Even for long-term saves, there may be several months where there is a gap in available data.
In the case of a cloud storage system, the constant updating of files ensures that the "shadow" period for data is a matter of seconds. The quick retrieval of data after a failure is another point to recommend it. Some businesses need to have access to their data rapidly after a failure state. Real-time updating ensures that the data is available as soon as possible.
Secure storage of company dataMany companies store their sensitive data in the cloud, but there have been concerns lately that this information may not be totally secure. An in-depth study of recent cloud data breaches, however, shows that the companies were at fault for their own data leaks.
The Wall Street Journal states that many of the current data breaches that we have witnessed came from human error, mostly linked to the setting up of security protocols on cloud servers. Cloud data is safe because of the distributed nature of the cloud.
Cloud security measures are usually many times more dynamic than those of companies that run their own on-premise backup storage servers. When dealing with data that can be accessed across the entire world, having a secure system is of the utmost importance.
ScalabilityOne of the most exciting things for businesses about cloud systems is how scalable they can be. One of the things that endear the cloud to small and medium business owners is how it can be adapted for use with a small or medium enterprise.
For smaller businesses, this is exciting because it means that their storage needs can dynamically adapt to the company's changing needs. There's no more speculation about investing in storage solutions. The company can just pay for more cloud storage when it needs it. The cost also plays into how the cloud saves businesses money.
Better collaboration between teamsSince the cloud system is not tied to a particular hardware location and is accessible from anywhere, it allows documents stored on the cloud to be used by multiple individuals. In businesses that have different specialists working on a single project, this is good news. A document may be checked out by one team member and worked on then resubmitted to the cloud for another professional to work on a different aspect. It even encourages a meeting of minds for professionals in the same field.
Increased automation of tasksAs most companies that adopt cloud technology can attest, it has been a godsend for cutting down their workload. By cleverly setting up a cloud server, a company can automate tasks, such as posting to social media or sending out updates to the company's email subscribers.
Cloud automation is an exciting development for small companies because it can give back workers some time out of their schedules if some of their tasks are already automated.
Saves businesses moneyAs mentioned before, there is a lot of free cloud-based software that companies can use. Instead of paying for Microsoft's Office suite, Google offers a similar set of productivity software in G Suite. Free tools within the cloud can save a company a lot of money in terms of licenses for software. Similarly, cloud computing systems can be leveraged in the same way, ensuring that companies can be competitive while on a constrained budget.