In today’s rapidly-changing business landscape there are a multitude of challenges for small and mid-size businesses. As a small business owner, some of the most critical challenges you are likely wrestling with are your ability to reach and stay connected to your customers and prospects via mobile devices, flexibility in the handling of data, and a seamless exchange of information. Moreover, you likely also have to compete against bigger enterprises that are better equipped with workforce and technology. This is where the going gets tough and the tough get smart. And it’s also where cloud technology can make all the difference in the world.
What is Cloud Technology, Anyway?
Cloud Technology or Cloud Computing is an internet-based computing process. While in the past, people used applications and programs through their computers or servers, cloud technology has made it possible to perform the same kind of activities using the Internet.
Cloud hosting supports all sorts of information-sharing. Things like email services, application hosting, web-based phone systems, video conferencing, data storage, and a lot more. The reason this matters is that cloud technology is faster, smarter and less expensive than the old school technology we’ve been accustomed to.
So, why are businesses moving to cloud?
Why is cloud so attractive? Well, that’s easy. Cloud tech offers SMBs the chance to streamline operations and fine-tune processes by not having to reinvent the wheel or buy expensive solutions. SMBs can use cloud for a myriad of things, including inventory management, invoicing, project management and collaboration, access to data, analysis, and data storage – you name it, cloud can deliver. Small and mid-sized businesses are the biggest adopters of cloud-based systems at 38% and 48% respectively, while large enterprises account for just 26% of total cloud usage. Why the difference? Enterprises have invested in data centers and equipment to manage what cloud can now do. Expect to see those be phased out in the coming years, (as in soon), as there just isn’t as much of a need to have expensive equipment on site when cloud is not only efficient, but also more affordable. That means less room is needed to house on site storage and fewer personnel to keep it operational, so there are definitely implications from a human capital standpoint moving forward as businesses adopt and embrace cloud technology.
Here’s a roundup of three most important benefits of cloud technology:
1. Broader access to data and information
Cloud technology brings data to your fingertips–exactly what you need, right when you need it, on any device and from anywhere. The need for flexibility grows as your business conditions change and for small businesses, change is a norm. In terms of flexibility, cloud makes for an excellent document management and data sharing platform by helping you store everything at a central location.
In a scenario where data is growing forever, having complete access and control over it ensures that you are at the helm, ready to steer the course of your business.
2. Disaster recovery and backup
Losing crucial data can be disastrous. Cloud offers you the safety of storing your data at secure data centers untouched by things like power outages, natural calamities, hackers, bugs or accidents. This eliminates the need for complicated disaster recovery methods that are both, time-consuming and expensive. A study shows that mid-sized businesses using cloud could settle recovery issues four times faster than those that didn’t use cloud. That alone presents a pretty compelling case for cloud.
3. Saving cost and resources
In business where time is money, cloud based processes effectively take care of both. With no up front investments or requirements for fancy (and expensive) hardware or software, cloud is a positive step towards cost-efficiency.
Since with cloud you pay for what you use, it also helps in maintaining scalability. Seasonal growth and contraction is common phenomenon in case of SMBs. Purchasing expensive hardware and utilities to support the temporary phases are impractical and can be seen as a waste of capital that you could be using elsewhere to grow your business. Cloud helps you tune your business up or down without any difficulty, and quickly, saving your budget dollars for more pressing needs.
Cloud has a wealth of benefits for SMBs and discussing only three of them is barely scratching the surface. However, when you look at these three advantages, they are some of the most powerful features of this platform that can give you the leverage to stay right at the top of your game. In a nutshell, the more you can move your business operations to the cloud, the quicker you’ll start experiencing greater productivity and increased profitability. What about you and your business? What have you moved to the cloud and what results are you seeing? We’d love to hear about it.
At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.