Cloud computing services offer small businesses the opportunity to off load the management of their IT network to an external provider. Taking email servers, application hosting, communications systems and data storage offsite can save companies time and money, boost productivity and free up employees to focus on growth. Here are 15 reasons to consider moving your small business network to the cloud:
1. Reliability and availability
When your network is in the cloud, your data is always available. Stored offsite and backed up to other locations, all your IT resources can be reinstated quickly and easily in the event of a server outage. Reduced downtime means a more productive team.
2. Unlimited storage
Cloud-based networks have no physical restrictions on data storage. When you’re out of space, your storage plan can be increased quickly and simply - without the need to invest in additional hardware.
3. Disaster-proof systems
Whether it’s a laptop left on the train or a major natural disaster, cloud computing solutions for small businesses help to mitigate the risk of data loss. Because they are hosted elsewhere, cloud services continue to operate through power cuts, equipment breakdowns and other crises, ensuring that you can be back up and running in minutes.
4. Secure, protected data
All data sent to the cloud is encrypted to prevent it being intercepted by online criminals. Where viruses are detected, infected files automatically fail to back up, thereby preventing a more widespread infection across your network.
5. Hassle free network management
Cloud computing service providers take on the responsibility for monitoring, maintaining and upgrading your network, eliminating the need for you (or your systems administrator) to perform manual updates. Software enhancements are rolled out automatically and issues are flagged up quickly before they can cause more widespread problems.
6. Compete at lower cost
Thanks to economies of scale, a third party cloud computing provider can make enterprise-level technology available to small business clients at a fraction of the cost and implementation time. SME’s become more agile than their larger competitors, who are hindered by the time it takes their in-house IT team to roll out new systems and services.
7. Reduce IT expenditure
There’s no getting away from the fact that IT can be expensive – but using a cloud computing small business specialist means that someone else bears the brunt of those daunting upfront costs. Expand your network’s capabilities without investing in new hardware, eliminate server license fees and retain access to IT experts without breaking the bank on consultants.
8. A better use of your team
With trusted IT professionals looking after the health of your network, you can focus on what you do best. Employees are free to concentrate on strategic goals, supported by the tools and systems that help them work as productively as possible.
9. Work flexibly and remotely
A cloud computing service enables anyone with the right credentials to access the resources they require via a secure internet connection and a compatible device. Whether they need the latest file versions or access to specific applications, your employees can work effectively from anywhere, any time.
10. Collaborate and connect
When everything is stored online, a dispersed workforce can share documents and work together far more effectively. With full, real time access to their workflow, project teams can connect and collaborate live, promoting innovation, speeding up NPD, reducing time to market and improving customer response time.
11. Clean up confusion
Work together, rather than one by one. Files stored and shared in the cloud are always the most recent versions, eliminating the need to send multiple iterations back and forth.
12. Improve your cash flow
Cloud computing services for small businesses usually work on a subscription, or ‘pay as you go’, basis. Having regular access to an outside team of experts means you can cut down on staffing costs; at the same time, scaling down your hardware means your energy consumption could fall. IT costs become predictable and regular, with no expensive surprises.
13. IT in tune with your needs
A cloud service flexes as your requirements change. Add capacity to cover sales, promotions or seasonality then cut down again as business slows. Pay only for what you need, when you need it and forget about wasting money on unused resources.
14. A smaller footprint
Because you only use the energy you need, cloud computing services help to minimise your company’s environmental impact. If small businesses continue to choose this more sustainable solution, fewer data centres will be required globally – in turn reducing the negative effects of hardware manufacturing and disposal.
15. Get started straight away
Because there is no upfront investment, a cloud computing solution for your small business is easy to set up.
So what are you waiting for? Get started with cloud computing today and start to realise all of these excellent benefits.
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