Growing businesses are always looking for ways to improve and rise above their competition. From a unique business strategy to a new management approach, changing your current routine can achieve new results. One of the most popular and effective ways to make a change that counts is to introduce innovative technology like cloud computing that gives your business a path into the future.
Everyone is talking about the cloud, so you may already have an idea of what it is, but let’s put it in terms that matter for your business. In cloud computing, you operate from remote servers that are accessed through and hosted on, the internet. These remote servers are where your most important software and data are stored, managed, and processed — preferably by a trusted IT partner who handles everything so you don’t have to.
The advantage for your team is that critical information and applications are now residing in a digital, secure cloud, not confined to a physical device with all its limitations. If you’re ready for more flexibility, higher security and even cost efficiencies, cloud technology can, and will, deliver the type of change that leads your business into a more successful future.
Flexibility to do business with anyone, anywhere, anytime
One of the most compelling features of cloud computing is how incredibly flexible it allows you to be. What exactly does this mean for you?
Because cloud computing runs on remote servers accessed through the internet, you can securely access your data and key applications from almost anywhere you have an internet connection and a device. This opens the door to new possibilities for working remotely and handling customer emergencies seamlessly or allowing your employees to work from home occasionally (certain research found that employees who can work from home are 87% more likely to love their job). You are also covered if your office is moving or remodeling. Everyone can be more responsive and effective without spending extra time in the office.
What about cloud-based applications? Some of the most common cloud-based apps that SMBs adopt are communication-related, like email and collaboration software via Office 365. Because these cloud apps are designed for access from multiple locations, various employees can sign onto the same document and edit or comment to collaborate in real time, such as in Google Docs. A collaborative workplace increases productivity tremendously, according to 59% of SMBs.
Cloud computing’s flexibility and convenience offer two additional advantages for business owners focused on maximizing resources. First, the cloud allows unlimited scalability, so instead of outgrowing your systems, they grow with you to meet demand and keep you competitive — without the extra spend on new IT equipment. Second, cloud services include automatic updates and maintenance. Think of all the time and expense of wading through software upgrades or equipment service and repair. With cloud computing, you are renting the best technology available (with experts to manage it), so you can focus on making your business run better and farther.
Higher security measures to protect your data and reputation
One of the biggest concerns with data storage is (understandably) whether it will be securely protected. Chances of a business surviving after a data loss are slim — the National Archives and Records Administration actually found that more than 90% of businesses that don’t have access to their data for more than 7 days go out of business within the year.
With odds like that, no business wants to trust its data to a service with less than stellar security protection measures. Fortunately, cloud computing has some of the best security protection measures available for smaller businesses who can’t afford interruptions. In fact, 94% of SMBs explain that they have experienced security benefits with a cloud solution that they never had before:
- With your data is stored in off-premise databases, you don’t have to worry that threats to your physical location, such as a theft, natural disaster or human error (like spilling coffee on a server). No matter what happens to the equipment in your office, your data stays safe in the cloud.
- The off-premise data centers where your information is stored are highly secured — almost government-grade secured — with constant monitoring.
- Encryption options are available to further protect your sensitive customer and financial data.
- Cloud services allow you to wipe data from stolen devices to protect your information from unauthorized tampering.
- In the event of a disaster at your physical location, your data can be recovered 4x more quickly from various sources of duplicate information.
- 91% of SMBs would agree that cloud computing’s features make it easier to achieve regulatory compliance with standards and requirements.
Freedom from high fixed costs
Imagine how much money your business will save when you eliminate the need to buy hardware, such as physical servers, to store your data on. Instead, cloud computing is an operational expense. When you subscribe to cloud computing, all you’ll have to do is pay a reasonable flat, monthly fee. This predictable charge makes budgeting easier and helps you focus your financial planning on growth. When you know exactly what you’re going to be paying each month, you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs like a server crashing and having to replace it ASAP. It’s no wonder that 47% of businesses have had lower operating costs after moving to cloud services.
Knowing all of this, it is not surprising that 70% of businesses have been able to reinvest funds back into their business because of cloud computing. Or that cloud computing is reported to be 40x more cost-effective for SMBs than running their own IT systems. If you’re a business looking for more efficient and effective solutions to build your bottom line, cloud computing is definitely one you should consider.
With all of these benefits in flexibility, productivity, security and efficiency, businesses like yours are turning to cloud computing to meet their goals, and by 2020, 78% of SMBs will have made the switch.
If you are already considering cloud computing, the most immediate gain may be the time you’ll recover from managing IT. Put your focus back into your business — and let us do the rest. At Affinity IT Group will make sure your cloud computing services benefit your business in ways you weren’t experiencing before. Contact us to get started.