Cloud computing is the current buzzword, and not for nothing is there the increased discussion regarding cloud computing and technology. Cloud computing has been around for a while now and it can roughly be defined as the technology where traditional methods of hosting or using a personal computer or local server to store, manage and process data give way to a wide network of servers that are hosted on the internet via virtual platforms. These virtual servers have an underlying physical location but are considered to be virtual as it is a wide network not defined by space or particular location. This computing and hosting is advantageous to all kinds of businesses.
Small businesses often shy away from any new technological advances since they believe that their needs are minimal with limited budgets and thus think that cloud hosting companies might not be the best choice for them considering it to be better suited for larger businesses and companies. However, that is far from the truth since small businesses can experience big changes via cloud computing and hosting.
Let’s consider the benefits to small businesses by switching to cloud
Cloud and small businesses – the benefits
- Reduced cost
Small businesses usually try to curb expenses and pinch pennies in order to stay afloat in the competitive market and to reduce any overhead costs. The cost of starting a new business and preparing for any untoward events make small business owners cautious. When switching to cloud computing the companies utilize their hardware completely as the value of physical server hardware increases owing to virtualisation. Companies save money on IT requirements, hardware and its maintenance, power usage and rack space. This, in turn, reduces cost of maintenance, hardware, its installation, upgradation and support services which otherwise need to be done routinely and eat up a sizeable part of the budget
- Increases flexibility
Cloud computing increases flexibility by allowing businesses access their data and files from anywhere, at any time and from any device instead of being constrained by a single physical device in a fixed location. Thus, employees of small businesses can work on any device, even on their smartphone, providing flexibility to the working process which a startup or a small organization requires.
- Increases collaboration
Remember when there would be one master computer and besides being bound by the physical location, accessing and sharing files would be time consuming and require permissions and had to be in the vicinity of the master server. With Cloud computing, accessing data is easy with collaboration tools. They allow everyone to access the same file and collaborate easily on projects for editing, uploading or commenting on documents. Additionally, this easy access and collaboration helps small businesses track the progress of work effortlessly and even view individual employee’s work record. Also, the ease of collaboration anytime, anywhere gives small businesses the liberty to allow employees to work from anywhere since they can easily be uploaded and viewed on cloud based collaboration tools.
- Increases integration
Being on cloud computing helps a business integrates seamlessly with other technologies and services. It even helps them collaborate with customers and others companies since most of them have also adopted cloud computing.
Thus, small businesses can benefit considerably by switching to cloud computing and hosting.