Although it wasn’t always the case, today small business cloud solutions are an integral part of many small to midsize businesses. The technology allows these smaller organizations to leverage advanced technology and vast server resources to compete with even large enterprise. The low cost of entry, robust features, and wonderful ease of use of many cloud-based software solutions means that smaller organizations can enjoy enterprise-level capabilities with an SMB budget.
Adoption of the cloud has been growing fast among small businesses especially. According to a study conducted by Intuit, 37% of small businesses had migrated to the cloud by 2014. By 2020, the number is expected to grow beyond 80%. Despite the benefits, adoption of cloud computing is still not universal among SMBs.
By far, the largest barrier to small business cloud migration is a lingering concern over security. Security technology moves fast, though, and these days there is little reason to fear for one’s data, as long as proper security policies are maintained.
As far as the specific benefits of the cloud, here are a few of the most dramatic.
1. Small Business Cloud Lowers Cost
Although it will depend on the specific application and installation, in general SMBs migrating to the cloud will experience both capital expenditure and operating costs. Especially in the modern era of managed service providers (MSPs), a cloud migration can allow a small business to entirely offload their IT department and realize major cost reductions to the bottom line. According to a Forbes study, about 82% of companies that had adopted the cloud by 2015 reported significant cost reductions in their IT spending.
Cloud-based software is typically purchased in a SaaS model, meaning the cost comes as a small monthly service fee rather than a large up-front capital expenditure. The resource burden of updates, patches, and maintenance is shouldered by the cloud service provider rather than the client. This frees the client to enjoy the benefits of the software without concern over server maintenance, upgrades, and other ongoing expenses typical to on-premise solutions.
2. Small Business Cloud Offers Tighter Security
The truth is, there is no such thing as perfect digital security. No matter how carefully engineered a system, there will always be some way to defeat it. That is to say, even the largest cloud networks like Amazon Cloud can potentially be hacked.
However, the likelihood of one of these large providers suffering a breach is far, far less likely than that of a smaller network. Hackers and cyber thieves, like most criminals, are most interested in the easy score. They will seek out a low security target with a high probability of success. The vast resources large cloud service providers spend on security, not to mention their stellar reputation, makes them one of the safest places to store data.
3. Small Business Cloud is Scalable
“ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources”
What this means is that scalability is baked into the cloud’s DNA. As a client of a cloud service provider, you are allocated as much power and bandwidth as your organization needs. As those needs grow and shrink, so does the allocation of computational power. This is typically seamless and invisible to the client, and included as a part of the service plan.
4. Small Business Cloud Enables Mobility
In today’s world of telecommuters and working on the go, the ability to access data and software from anywhere is more important than ever before. By its very nature, the cloud supports a mobile workforce. Typically, cloud applications may be accessed from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Their design is usually such that they provide much the same user experience as if the worker was sitting in the office.
Cloud software developers often capitalize on this inherent benefit of the cloud by building in strong mobile device support. It is not at all uncommon for cloud applications to offer mobile apps for a wide variety of devices. Employees will appreciate the freedom to access data from anywhere and on any device, and you will appreciate their increased availability and productivity.