8 Cloud Computing Benefits for Small Businesses
Cloud technology has evolved significantly over the past ten years. The notion of cloud computing has spawned in several directions, and that has allowed for its maturity. With maturity, the cloud models and services have evolved into a cloud capability that no business should ignore.
Technical innovation and investment in the industry have meant that cloud service providers can create services and capabilities that would have otherwise been costly. The cost reduction of servers, compute, storage, and network bandwidth have all aided in cloud services to be bigger, better, faster and often cheaper. For this reason, cloud service providers can offer services that can take on a utility-based pricing model where businesses can pay for what they use.
Cloud services can take on many forms. CRM, ERP, PBX, asset management, project management, social media, Office 365 are examples of cloud-based services. It is worth noting that the cloud service models are generally broken down into three service-types; infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service. The latter cloud service model is what has become popular as it allows for faster adoption. For more information on the cloud service models, you can review this article.
The eight Benefits of Cloud Computing for SMEs
1. Scale and Flexibility: Cloud computing, by design, are generally more secure and scalable than traditional on-premise services. Nearly all cloud service providers will address fluctuating demand on their platform, so businesses can onboard users faster. No longer do you have to be concerned about bandwidth, compute, processing power, or storage space, which is all factored in by the cloud service provider. However, the best part of all of this is that you can scale on-demand and pay based on what is needed. This means that the cost to use these services is significantly lowered compared to running them yourself.
2. Increased Security and Updates: One of the main challenges of running on-premise services is that you are ultimately responsible for the security and maintenance of the software service. You would need to ensure that your IT support team manages, monitors, and alerts the systems, requiring time, money, and resources. Cloud computing and cloud managed services have inherent capabilities that can address the entire cloud service’s overall security and maintenance. This means that you will always have the current (and secure) version of the software that makes up the service.
3. Increased Collaboration: Through cloud computing, your teams and partners can collaborate better and more efficiently. Your users can access documents regardless of their location and can edit, share and create as and when needed. This means that your workforce will be able to work faster and drive your business forward quicker. The likes of Office 365, Monday.com, dropbox.com are all examples of collaboration cloud services and can help increase your teams’ productivity by some 45%.
4. Automation and Machine Learning: Cloud computing allows businesses to leverage technology that may have otherwise been cost-prohibitive. Cloud service providers are pushing the boundaries of traditional on-prem services, which has allowed many smaller firms to increase their competitive advantage. For example, CRM systems such as Salesforce has enabled sales teams in enterprises to engage and respond to customers faster and more efficiently. Automation and integration into other platforms have meant that the customer journey and experience in doing business has improved significantly. Machine learning has allowed data to be refined and trended so that companies can pinpoint efficiencies and opportunities. Both of these capabilities enable your business to save on cost, which means you can channel resources elsewhere.
5. Easier to access Cloud Software: The traditional method of operating software services has been on-prem, which has meant the immense cost to run and manage the software service. A business would have needed equipment, investment and people, which all up to high costs. Thanks to cloud services and cloud service providers, companies can now leverage and adopt some of the more powerful software solutions that can make a big difference in their competitive edge. Not having to worry about implementing and running the service means that businesses can adopt new services faster as the requirements to implement the solution are often already in place. No longer is the distance, latency, connection issues a problem, and now its a case of ensuring your users have a device to connect from.
6. Big Data, Analytics and Number Crunching: Data is king, so they say. To do business, it is highly likely that you will work with data or provide that data to someone or something. Cloud computing has made this easier. Several services allow you to host, manage, trend and collect data in large amounts and apply business logic and machine learning. This capability was usually only for large corporates, but the cloud has made this accessible to smaller businesses.
7. Better Agility: Cloud computing has allowed businesses to become more agile and pivot faster based on market demand and forces. No longer do companies have to worry about long adoption times to use these services. They no longer need to make a significant financial investment for software that may otherwise not be needed.
8. Backup and Disaster Recovery: Being able to recover from a disaster is often the most overlooked aspect of software and data services. Businesses rely on access to IT services and software, so ensuring they can recover means a sizeable financial investment needs to be made. This was usually a luxury for small businesses, as having this capability means a significant commitment to finance and resources. Cloud computing and managed cloud services remove this barrier and issue. Backups, availability, redundancy, security and recoverability are inbuilt by design to the platform and included in the service’s cost.
Overall, cloud computing and managed cloud services offer many benefits to business of all sizes. For SME’s, though, it has levelled the playing field, and the smaller companies can now compete with the large corporates and gain a competitive advantage.
Teck Genius help all kinds of businesses on their cloud journeys. We can help plan your cloud migration from start to finish and ensure your cloud service is optimised for your needs. For a no-obligation chat please contact us here.