How Cloud Computing is Changing Small Business
Is your small business considering migrating to the cloud? Has your large business seen more and more competition from small businesses? Cloud computing is essential for businesses of all sizes, but small businesses have seen an endless amount of benefits from cloud computing, including financial, operational, and security benefits. Let’s discuss how each of these items related to cloud computing is changing small business.
There’s been an enormous change in IT spending, shifting away from traditional IT offerings (enterprise software, data center systems, etc.) to cloud services. In fact, Gartner research shows that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud by 2020, making cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.
So much money is being poured into cloud computing because there are so many financial benefits for small companies. The cost of cloud computing gives small businesses and start-ups access to the same software tools that larger competitors have. In the past, sophisticated software tools were only available in expensive, large packages. Now, cloud products are specifically designed to be used in the cloud and by businesses of all sizes and budgets. Instead of a huge annual fee, priced for hundreds of employees, small businesses can pay monthly fees and pay per user. This gives the users the ability to predict how much their cloud solution is going to cost and how to budget accordingly. Additionally, cloud solutions allow small companies to save on the cost to physically store servers and network equipment or pay for IT support.
Cloud computing gives small business the opportunity to be virtual instead of physical – think of all the ways this can positively impact a business. Employees have on-demand access the cloud environment anywhere, any time and the environments are readily available and dependable, which could improve overall team performance. Contractual agreements are also likely more flexible, solutions are customizable, which is important for a small business; you don’t want to get locked into a contract that doesn’t fit your needs. As your business grows, so can your cloud solutions.
Easy to Use
There’s a cloud service for everything: web hosting, email hosting, application hosting, productivity solutions, infrastructure, business support, and many more. No matter what type of service it provides, a well-designed, quality cloud solution should be user-friendly and customizable to your business. Cloud computing solutions usually easily integrate with other applications that you use, don’t require manual software updates, and increase overall productivity.
People often say that cloud computing makes security easier or less costly. On one hand, yes, cloud computing enables small businesses to scale back on their information security resources if they use a secure cloud provider. What is a secure cloud provider? A provider who can assure their clients that their information is secure, available, and confidential through validation. If you’ve chosen a cloud provider whose cost is low, but they have not gone through an information security audit, you’ve chosen a solution that doesn’t make securing your data easy. It’s vital to choose a provider who’s invested in providing secure solutions. Your reputation, business continuity, competitive advantage, and branding depend on the quality and security of your cloud computing provider.
Preparing for the Future
Cloud computing helps small businesses prepare for the future. As the business grows, scalable cloud solutions can also grow and enhance.
In Gartner’s research, Ed Anderson states, “Cloud shift is not just about cloud. As organizations pursue a new IT architecture and operating philosophy, they become prepared for new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions such as the Internet of Things. Furthermore, organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves better for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.”
Cloud computing is giving small businesses more opportunities to compete and grow their business. Is your small business considering migrating to the cloud? Do you know which cloud security threats may impact you? To learn more about cloud adoption and how to empower your cloud environments through security audits, contact us today.