Cloud computing has been at the forefront of the global shift to remote working. Get the most out of this technology for your small business by learning how to use it.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business practices have become obsolete: from in-person brainstorming sessions to activities for team building, even the concept of the office itself.
The global crisis accelerated the adoption of certain technologies that might be worth keeping even as the world recovers.
Cloud computing is one such technology.
From remote collaboration to virtual classes, cloud-powered applications helped create some semblance of normalcy through those tough times.
In the past, cloud computing seemed so mysterious. An intangible, centralised location on the internet hosting business processes and storing data is hard to imagine.
However, recent years have demonstrated numerous benefits of moving your business to the cloud.
Small Business and the Cloud
The cloud is now being used by almost all big corporations and multinational companies to conduct their business operations.
For large companies with seemingly unlimited budgets moving to the cloud makes perfect sense.
Is it the same for small businesses? Are moving costs worth it? Would it be right for you to do it now?
This article will provide you with seven ways to use cloud solutions to boost your small business. Once you understand why some business processes should be moved to the cloud, you will know whether doing so is worth your time.
Seven Ways You Can Use Cloud Solutions
As a result of cloud connectivity, you can collaborate in real-time with your team from anywhere in the world, as long as everyone has access to the Internet.
You and your employees will have greater flexibility to work from anywhere if you utilise services such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive.
The advantage of remote collaboration is that you don't have to be tied down to your office.
Have you ever had your laptop crash while you were working on something important? Has a hard drive suddenly become unreadable when your files are urgently needed? And, when you try to retrieve the data you need, you are told that it is gone for good?
By moving your data to the cloud, you can avoid such headaches.
A central feature of most cloud-based apps is automatic backup and recovery. Even if your team experiences a power outage or hardware malfunction, all it takes is a click to recover their hard work.
The cloud is widely used for file storage.
In spite of the fact that your business may not be highly tech-oriented, you likely still need a lot of storage for files. It is, in fact, no longer advisable to keep your inventory logs, client information databases, and even the employee information of your business on physical, on-site records
By storing all your documents on the cloud, you will also be able to access them from anywhere at any time. You can also control who can access files in your small business's cloud if security is a concern.
The move to the cloud can also empower your operations to become fully paperless, so you can run a more sustainable business.
Data security has been one of the biggest reasons why small businesses have been reluctant to use the cloud.
In the early days of the cloud, that might have been a valid concern, but the industry has progressed greatly since then.
Despite the fact that you still need to play your part in securing sensitive data, most cloud service providers have now built extra security measures into their products. Blockchain technology, for example, allows the decentralisation of data. Hackers will have a much harder time cracking the information stored on the cloud as a result.
Scalable Growth Planning
Cloud services are often misunderstood as requiring a large upfront investment. In reality, cloud solutions are very scalable.
This means that you can pay for the services and access levels you need for now. Start with the smallest storage capacity and move some of your files to the cloud. As your business grows, you can gradually increase your usage.
As the cloud is self-managed by the providers, you may be able to eliminate the need for an in-house IT department.
Whenever your business grows, your cloud services will grow with it.
Does your company still host its email client on its own servers?
Using cloud services in this way is another way to maximise their benefits.
Cloud-hosted email eliminates the need to manage or invest in servers for your business email. This will now be handled by the cloud provider.
The cost of hosting email on the cloud is usually lower than that of hosting it on-site.
Even though brick and mortar stores may not be completely obsolete, online shopping has definitely become more popular.
Cloud-based e-commerce platforms are a great option for anyone running an online store or looking to move their physical store online.
As platforms like Shopify are so easy to use and inexpensive, getting rid of an in-house store management solution is now a no-brainer.
Additionally, cloud-based e-commerce platforms can be scaled without the need for expensive hardware investments.
The Cloud is the Future of Business
The decision of when to start using cloud solutions for your small business is up to you, now that you know how helpful they can be.
Whatever your business needs may be, we're here to help you move to the cloud or provide further information on cloud solutions.
Get started by scheduling a 15-minute, no-obligation conversation with our team today.