These days, the “cloud” is part of everyone’s conversation and daily routine, from execs accessing files on the go to teens pulling songs out of thin air, and moms backing up family albums at the tap of a finger.
And yet, many small businesses still operate outside of the cloud, missing out on what The Guardian once called “the best thing since sliced bread for your business” — namely, the ability to streamline operations, stay nimble and competitive without spending a fortune.
Graham Turner, the Guardian’s writer, highlights the following benefits:
Cloud computing makes IT someone else’s problem.
“First off,” Turner writes, “there’s no technology for you to worry about. When you rent a car, the maintenance, repairs and breakdown assistance are all taken care of by the rental company. You rightly expect to be able to jump in and drive off, save in the knowledge that your car will work. The same is true of cloud services.”
Cloud services are practical and economical.
Turner says the greatest benefit of the cloud is financial. “Let’s return to the rent-a-car analogy,” he writes. “When you buy a car, there’s a huge upfront expense. You don’t get that money back if you don’t use the car every day, even if you sell it. After five years, you’ll have an old car which nobody else wants to buy, and if it goes wrong, it will cost even more to repair. Your rental car, however, is always a current model, and you only pay to use what you need, when you need it. This is exactly the case with cloud services too.”
Cloud computing lets you run with the big dogs.
Experts interviewed by the Huffington Post echo Turner’s advice, reminding us that “technology is a huge driver of competitive advantage” and, for the first time, small businesses can compete at the same level as large companies. “The cloud is the great technology equalizer,” says one expert.
Cloud computing has matured quickly, and so has its security and reliability. Fredric Paul, a tech writer for ReadWrite, points out that security in the cloud is “almost always far better than what small businesses are able to provide for themselves.”
“When it comes down to it,” Paul concludes, “cloud computing seems made for startups and small businesses. It’s the best way to get enterprise class — or better yet, consumer class — functionality without having to develop it yourself or lay out a big chunk of cash to buy it.”
In our next post, we’ll review (and debunk) a few cloud computing myths. Until then, we invite you to download a white paper to help you decide what IT combination is right for you, from cloud to managed services, equipment and more.