Cloud computing has created a technology revolution for small businesses, offering access to a range of capabilities that typically only larger companies can afford. Now with just Wi-Fi and a web browser you can tap into software and services as you need to and drive down costs by paying for just what you actually use.
You can do everything with cloud computing, from marketing campaigns to managing customer relations, so here’s some advice on exactly how to use the cloud to help your small business.
1. Work Anywhere, Anytime
Cloud-based programs can be used at any time on almost any device with an Internet connection, so you can work anywhere, anytime. With a small business or start up often requiring almost round the clock attention, the value of this really cannot be overstated. You no longer need to be chained to your desk until late at night just to get the work done – you can leave at the end of working hours and head home to carry on those vital extra tasks that will really drive growth and get your business off the ground.
If you’re working with a business partner or have a small number of employees you can also collaborate with them remotely – even simultaneously working together on one document or presentation; you can also share calendars, task-lists, files… the options are endless!
You and your team can even hold impromptu meetings with robust audio and video conferencing capabilities. Some Cloud-based services even make it possible to include customers and vendors in these meetings. This improved sharing of information has the potential to enable your company to react more quickly to business opportunities. What’s more, with servers and hardware located off-site with their management left to an experienced provider, cloud computing allows you to focus on what you do best—running and developing your business.
2. Growing With You
Cloud resources are totally elastic and scalable, so you can increase capacity to support growth whenever you need to – even just to handle a busy period. One of the most challenging aspects of running a small company is predicting what resources your business will need, as you need to make sure you have enough to scale and take advantage of unexpected opportunities, but not so much that you overspend.
By using Cloud resources you can react to needs as they arise and use – and pay for – just what is required to manage your growth, enhance your efficiency, and maximize productivity. For example, if customer and project demands require increased collaboration, you can access collaboration tools quickly and without advanced planning.
Your flexibility as an organization rises when you work in the Cloud because your business has the vital ability to react in (almost) real-time.
3. Driving Down Costs
Switching to cloud computing can save your business significant amounts of money, by removing the need for investing in expensive hardware, and then spending money to maintain that hardware that often goes unused. It’s often significantly cheaper to spend your money on a subscription to a cloud based service, and will usually be via a small monthly cost rather than requiring an expensive initial outlay. Most cloud applications also update themselves automatically, so there’s no need to spend money on an expensive in-house IT department to keep systems maintained.
Cloud computing brings many upsides to a small business. However, it’s not without problems. As many factors can impact the effectiveness of your implementation of the cloud, things can still go wrong.
With that said, you should make sure that help is available if needed as you could lose months of work and vital files if there’s ever a problem you can’t solve. You might want to consider to use a remote IT support service like Landmark Technologies to make sure that your cloud-powered business is up and running. Not only that, they can also offer recommendations on how to optimize your cloud systems, as well as offering recommendations on how to find the right cloud system for you, including the resources required to adopt the technology.