Cloud computing often represents the most flexible technology solutions available to businesses today. That’s why it is so popular among commercial users of every size.
As cloud technology continues to improve and its use continues to grow, learn why your business might be best served by switching to the cloud and a managed cloud services provider.
Just take a look at the statistics: 83% of enterprise workloads will be handled in the cloud this year, according to estimates, 94% of enterprises are already using a cloud service and 50% of enterprises spend more than $1.2 million on cloud services annually.
Now, those numbers represent rather large operations and organizations. Many of those businesses have in-house IT departments to handle cloud technology. However, that doesn’t mean the advantages offered by cloud computing aren’t available to operations with fewer employers and resources.
In fact, many managed cloud technology service providers now make the very same benefits attainable for medium and small businesses. but the cloud is popular among small businesses, too. There are also public cloud options that some small businesses prefer.
Both options have increased the accessibility of cloud technology for small businesses. Most already utilize the cloud. This year, about 80% of small businesses in the U.S. will be using the cloud, according to a report.
Small businesses have found plenty of advantages that cloud computing brings to the table. Cloud technology gives these businesses a single, central location to store all their data.
Because the cloud relies on internet connections, not a server located on-site, all that data can be accessed from anywhere. This opens up many opportunities for businesses outside their normal markets. In many ways, the cloud gives small businesses the opportunity to become global operations, if only at a smaller scale than larger corporations.
Let’s take a look at some of the real benefits of switching to cloud services.
When your storage needs increase, cloud technology is able to easily expand to meet the new requirements.
Rather than rely on an on-site network of servers and data storage equipment, storage space on the cloud is easily and quickly increased. There is no need to invest in additional costly equipment, only in most cases are larger fee for using the cloud - a fee that pales in comparison to the purchase price of more hardware.
Plus, by saving and pulling files from the cloud, businesses make accessibility a breeze for employees who work remotely or are on the go.
Cloud computing grows alongside your business. It easily and very quickly scales with your business.
As the needs and capabilities of the business change or increase, so can cloud technology. Updates and maintenance are simple and almost always handled by the cloud services provider - or monitored by a managed IT services provider, if your business uses one.
If your business has periods of high use, then cloud services can manage that increased use. In most cases, a cloud service can expand and contrast as needed, so a business never has to pay more than what is necessary to utilize the service. This is a much more efficient use of resources compared to investing in hardware, for example, which requires a significant investment on top of upkeep costs.
There are also additional collaboration opportunities with the cloud, especially if customers or employees must access, download or upload similar information at the same time.
Let’s get into cost, now that it’s been mentioned. In general, cloud computing does in fact cost less than what it would take for a business to maintain servers, power and cool that equipment, license software and upgrade hardware as needed.
Cloud computing makes so much sense financially that nearly 49% of small businesses choose to use cloud services simply because it lowers costs, according to a survey from Microsoft.
Typically, utilizing the cloud involves a low monthly fee that is flexible, not fixed like hardware investment would be. Simply put: this saves business money.
Another commonly cited benefit of cloud technology is that it offers a secure data storage solution that is also very reliable.
With on-site solutions, a backup is typically a responsibility that falls on the business or its IT professionals to schedule and monitor to ensure it is operating as needed.
However, with cloud services, backups are normally handled by the software or service provider and normally not an issue the business needs to worry about aside from a potential initial setup when the service is set up.
This offers assurances that information is available quickly following a power outage or system failure of some sort. Now, some opponents of the cloud (and there may still be a few out there) may claim that placing your data’s security in the hands of an online service may be unwise because, in the end, the business does not control the security protocols.
But consider this: That service provider’s entire business itself is built around securing data for its many, many users. The amount of financial and capital investment that those providers put into security and reliability is likely more than any small business could afford.
With data and information at a business’s employees’ fingertips nearly instantly from any location that has an internet connection, it’s easy to understand why productivity can get a boost by switching to cloud services.
No matter the data that needs to be downloaded or uploaded, employees don’t have to wait to reach an on-site network to accomplish their task. Cloud technology also allows for easy searching of files and software, decreasing the amount of time needed for the more mundane parts of file management.
Advanced Network Professionals offers the managed cloud services your business needs to take advantage of cloud computing. From hosted servers, data storage, email services, data backup, recovery and more, contact ANP to see how you can put the cloud to work for your business.