Businesses looking to succeed in competitive environments must constantly be looking for new efficiencies that give them the edge over competitors. As far as technology is concerned, there may be no edge greater than shifting computing operations and data storage to cloud based solutions.
What are cloud based solutions? They are everything from storage options to software as a service platforms that are delivered through the internet, meaning they are accessible from anywhere there’s a connection to the internet.
These cloud services connect your business to virtually any person anywhere as long as they have a device that can also connect to the internet. It’s an invaluable advantage to any business that wants to reach more customers in more locations or send out its employees to any location in the world, while still providing those employees access to all the data, platforms and programs they would be able to use if they were in a company office.
If this sounds like an advantage that would give your business an edge over its competitors, then keep reading to learn more benefits of cloud computing and solutions.
Cloud computing is a term that encompasses a range of solutions and services. Essentially, these services allow a business’s employees to access information and software programs from anywhere at any time through internet-connected computers, tablets or mobile phones.
When many think of cloud computing, they think of cloud storage. These are services that allow you to upload and download files to secure and private file storage systems. All you need to access this data is a connection to the internet.
But storage is not the only solution the cloud is known for. There are also data backup services and software as a service, or SaaS, solutions.
SaaS solutions are software programs that can be accessed and used online, often without installing heavy loads of data on your device. These platforms also store data online, which means they also are incredibly accessible.
Cloud computing and cloud based solutions are increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. That’s because these solutions are easily customizable and can grow with your business. They are both scalable and flexible based on your company’s needs.
Take cloud storage, for example. If your small business only requires 1 TB of storage space, but then your storage requirements increase, say due to an expansion, then that is easily and quickly accomplished, often with a click of a button.
Popular SaaS services, such as accounting or document creation solutions, are also easily scalable depending on how many users need access. Other features are often accessible as your needs grow, too.
If you need to be conscious about the amount of money you spend on technology solutions, then the cloud can be perfect. It is often cheaper and can save your company money when compared to the amount of money needed to invest in on-site hardware and software solutions.
This is, in fact, a very common reason for a business’s move to the cloud. In a survey conducted by Microsoft of businesses that had switched to the cloud, 49% cited lower cost as the top reason for their transition.
And, again, cost is flexible when it comes to cloud based solutions, which means businesses usually only pay for what they need rather than having to make upfront investments and then scale to make the cost pay off.
Many aspects of cloud computing are continually improving, including security. When it comes to cloud based solutions, security and backups are more often than not handled by the cloud service provider, who typically has more resources to ensure security in the first place.
These services are often saving data and your work constantly, too. So, in the event of a power outage or some other event that causes your connection to halt, your data will still be accessible once the connection is restored or you are able to go to a location that does have an internet connection.
Moving to the cloud requires planning, but it’s a process that is well worth the time it takes to complete – which sometimes is very minimal anyway.
The first step in moving your business’s data and software to the cloud is determining what needs to be stored using cloud based solutions and what SaaS services can be utilized to handle business operations. From there, you will want to determine how many users need access.
Once that is complete, you will need to choose between a private or public cloud solution. There are many benefits to both, but you will want to research which is best for your business.
Many businesses are able to thrive on public cloud services, but a private cloud may be worth considering for several reasons.
Those reasons would include the need for increased security and privacy, maximum flexibility for companies with complex needs and complete control over how your cloud operates – and how its users operate within it.
Once you have made your choice regarding public vs. private cloud, it’s time to make your move.
For many businesses that do not have a dedicated IT staff, perhaps the easiest way to make sure migrating data from on-site devices to the cloud goes smoothly is to partner with a managed IT services provider that is also skilled in cloud based solutions.
Advanced Network Professionals can help your company or organization’s move to the cloud go seamlessly and securely. Our skilled team of IT professionals can also provide a wide range of cloud solutions that are sure to fit your business’s needs, no matter its size.
We are able to offer services ranging from email, to hosted services, to data storage, to data backup and recover, to website hosting, custom SaaS services and much more. Give us a call at (712) 584-2024 to discuss which solutions would be the best fit for your business.