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Aug 7, 2013

How Cloud Computing can Benefit Small Businesses

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image: How Cloud Computing can Benefit Small Businesses

Although cloud computing is not actually a new term in the tech world, it has, however, become one of the important concepts for modern businesses over the last several years. While individual users can get the benefits of cheap online storage and easy file sharing, companies can expand the usage of cloud-based applications in order to enhance their business processes.

Extensive generation of digital files has long sent printed documents and outdated administration systems to history, facing companies with different challenges in terms of their management. Up until recently, powerful computing systems were available only to large companies that could actually afford them. However, cloud has set new standards for digital data management and provided efficient software tools at low prices, which is why small businesses are the ones that could have most benefits from using this platform.

Affordable platform

Though the cloud has many of its forms and may not be an appropriate solution for every company, one-man businesses, startups and smaller companies can actually profit a lot from it. As the whole cloud infrastructure is stored on remote server farms, there`s no need for small companies to buy their own private servers. Instead, they can buy appropriate amounts of storage space from cloud vendors and get all the resources they need. Namely, you can get up to 16 TB of space for around $800 a month, which is what Google Drive offers, or create your own 'unlimited storage' plan with Box.

Capital expenditure reduction

If you`re just about to start a business on your own, you`re aware of the number of investments you need to make right from the start. Luckily, cloud can partly solve your problems, at least in terms of hardware equipment. If you`re not yet ready to buy massive hardware equipment and hire IT management teams, the cloud offers you a chance to get all these by choosing one of the cloud storage pricing plans offered. Thus, you get efficient software tools for managing your files and plenty of storage space for integrating extensive software applications.

Ability to scale resources

Scalability is probably one of the major advantages of cloud platform for both small businesses and large enterprises. Pricing plans provided by major cloud vendors include several options, so that you can start small in terms of price, storage space and features. As your business grows, you`re always able to upgrade to premium plans and practically adjust the cloud to your own needs, without ever having to make large investments.

Collaborative tools

Even if you run a small business, you do need appropriate tools to enable your employees to communicate and develop projects efficiently. Cloud apps such as Google Docs and Microsoft Skydrive let your employees access their most important documents from any place in the world, and edit them at the same time. Forget about constant emailing of latest file versions back and forth to your employees or business partners. In a single cloud folder, you get an opportunity to share files via a web link or access previous file versions, whenever you need them.

Backup and disaster plans

The way cloud technology works represent one of the best backup plans you can possibly think of. Namely, cloud providers scatter your data across multiple servers, this way enabling you to retrieve your valuable files in case of a disaster. Even if their system breaks or a server goes down, your data will still be available to you. Also, you never have to worry about deleting your important documents again, as they`ll be safe in the cloud, so that you can get them back any time you want.

Overall simplicity

Even though the term ‘cloud computing may imply complex processes, especially if you`re not a tech freak, cloud applications are actually very simple. Installing and using these software solutions neither takes much of your time nor it requires you to have advanced tech skills. Therefore, it is an excellent solution for companies where the IT is not the key area. As network administration and server maintenance is a responsibility of your provider, you don`t have to worry about these and you can completely devote your time to your key business processes.

From this perspective, it`s clear why the cloud has caused so much fuss among business users. With all the features listed above it`s easy to assume to which extent the cloud can change the face of business as we know it. Although there are different ways to implement cloud solutions, one thing is certain – with a carefully designed cloud strategy, any small business can make a profit and boost its efficiency.

Check out this infographic - Why Cloud is a big deal for small business owners.
infographic: Why Cloud is a bog deal for Small Businesses
About author:
Dana Scott is a freelance writer and a blogger who likes to spend free time writing about various technology themes. Her current area of interest is cloud technology, especially cloud solutions for small businesses..

3 comments :

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