It is tough to run a small business. We are not going to mince our words, the harsh reality is that there are limitations to what small businesses can do.
As an IT support services firm, Computer Guys has seen its fair share of small enterprises who have had their operations hindered by IT infrastructures that were not built for enterprises. This is perfectly understandable as small businesses often lack the resources that big corporations can afford to pour into their IT infrastructures.
However, the playing field has now been levelled with the emergence of cloud computing.
What is cloud computing?
Simply put, cloud computing is network-based services hosted on virtual servers. It offers numerous advantages to both end users and businesses as they no longer need to worry about technicalities such as infrastructure support or application development.
For example, if you decide to use Google Apps for your business, you will not have to worry about the basic setups as Google will provide you with Gmail for email service, Google Drive for file storage and collaboration, and Google Calendar for calendar application.
Of course, cloud computing has its critics as well but we at Computer Guys have always recommended cloud solutions for our clients as its pros outweighs its cons. Here are five reasons why cloud computing is better for small businesses:
1) It is cheap(er)
Why bother building your IT infrastructure up from scratch when there are cloud computing providers who have already built a stable infrastructure that is ready for use? This arrangement is perfect for small enterprises because cloud computing services work on economies of scale. With more subscribers, the providers are able to offer more cost advantages that were not accessible by small businesses before.
2) It is easy
Cloud service providers aim to make things as easy as possible for the end user so that they can capture a larger share of the market. This translates to an extremely user-friendly experience with a smaller learning curve for new products and functions. Your employees will be able to pick up how to use the system fairly quickly, allowing greater productivity during office hours.
It does not even matter if you do not have any expertise behind the technology of cloud computing systems. The provider would be taking care of the technical details, and all that is required from the user is just proficiency in using the applications.
3) It is convenient
If you choose to do up your IT infrastructure the traditional way, chances are that the servers storing your data are located in your office. This arrangement is perfectly fine, that is, until you try to access your server outside of the country. We shall not delve into the details but good luck, it is going to be a long wait to get the data you need.
On the other hand, cloud computing service providers such as Google have over a million servers located worldwide. This allows users to access their data easily and more importantly, quickly, regardless of where they are. If you or your employees travel overseas frequently for work, this accessibility would certainly be very useful.
Cloud computing companies also make their products available on all platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, PC) which gives your business greater flexibility with its devices.
4) It is quick
It takes less than a day to set up a cloud system for a small business, so you do not have to worry about unnecessary delays. Likewise, new users can be integrated easily into the system, allowing your employees to start work without any hiccups.
The occurrence of system downtime is also dramatically reduced when companies switch from using their own IT infrastructure to using cloud computing services. In fact, downtime is almost unheard of if you subscribe to the services of an established cloud service provider. After all, with so many businesses depending on them, they simply cannot afford to have any major blunders.
5) It is fuss free
Cloud computing systems can be scaled accordingly to meet changing IT demands, which allow small businesses to expand operations without worrying about changing their IT infrastructure. It is also a more cost-efficient solution, as cloud service providers only charge their users for what they are currently using (e.g: applications, data storage).
With cloud computing, business owners will no longer have to concern themselves with IT maintenance as the responsibility lies with the service provider. Should an IT issue crop up, users can simply call up the service provider’s helpline. Think of it this way, when you engage the services of a cloud computing company, you are also engaging a group of professionals with the expertise to take care of your business’s IT needs.