Small businesses make a big impact. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 54 percent of all sales are created by 28 million small businesses operating nationwide.
These businesses are facing a new challenge: embracing digital transformation to stay competitive and customer-focused on a global scale. Cloud computing has emerged as one key component in this strategy, with nearly 40 percent of SMBs already leveraging cloud technology, and experts predicting this number to double in the next three years. Let’s look at some of the best reasons for small businesses to embrace the cloud.
Often tapped as the biggest enterprise benefit, cloud computing can help reduce total IT cost for SMBs as well. How? Instead of purchasing computer hardware that must be serviced, maintained and ultimately replaced, businesses leverage provider hardware and reduce capital expenditure. Software costs also come down — instead of licensing “X” copies of productivity suites or graphic design programs, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions let SMBs get the tools they need on demand.
Flexibility and Automation
Need more space or bigger bandwidth? No problem. Cloud providers can scale up on demand to meet emerging requirements. And scalability works both ways — increase throughput as needed for high-value projects or high-traffic events, then return to previous resource levels to keep costs down. In-house IT experts also enjoy the benefit automation; patches, upgrades and software renewals are all handled by your vendor, giving your team more time to innovate.
Recovery and Security
Disasters happen — not if, but when. When disaster strikes, what happens to your data? If it’s stored on local servers only, you could lose everything. Using the cloud, meanwhile, lets you make multiple redundant copies and store them off-site for easy recovery if something goes wrong close to home. In addition, cloud security has evolved to match — and, in many cases, exceed — that of local IT protection. Using a combination of regular audits, advanced encryption and remote data wiping, its possible to enjoy the security of data defense with all the benefits of device mobility.
Freedom and the Playing Field
Small businesses need employee freedom — many rely on remote workers who can get their job done anywhere, anytime. With the cloud, you can effectively take company networks wherever you go, and staff can access cloud services from any approved device.
The cloud also levels the playing field, giving SMBs access to enterprise-grade IT infrastructure without breaking the bank. Add a reduced carbon footprint, and it’s no surprise that more SMBs than ever are tapping the cloud to enhance their IT delivery.
Ready to dig deeper? Learn more about how the cloud can benefit your SMB.
Author bio: Steve Johnson is President of Maryland Computer Service, and has been helping businesses harness the power of technology for nearly 20 years. His experiences during that time make him uniquely qualified to guide small and medium businesses through the technologies of today into the future.