10 Advantages of Cloud Computing for Small Businesses

The technological advances in today’s digital age, along with the growing demand for remote workforce, show that moving to the cloud is a no-brainer. But what is cloud computing exactly? It refers to an offsite computer resource or resources that can be accessed on-demand via the Internet. In simpler terms, it’s simply computing based on the Internet.

In the past, businesses would run programs or applications using a physical computer (sometimes a server) located within the building. Doing so allowed them to use data housed on that particular computer or server. Cloud computing has changed this methodology by letting people access applications, files, and other types of data through the Internet.

Did you know that cloud computing is not a new concept? It has been around for more than two decades now. However, its popularity only increased over the last five years, all due to our constant use and demand for data. Think about it. When you’re streaming your favourite Netflix series, checking your balance on a bank app, or even going on to Instagram, you are relying on cloud technology. And as a small business, you are most probably using cloud computing to help you with several business challenges.

The evolution of cloud technology gives plenty of advantages to businesses, and we’re enumerating the cloud computing benefits in this blog. The following are the top 10 reasons why your business requires cloud computing and reliable cloud computing infrastructure:

1. You Can Have More Flexibility

It’s inevitable for your bandwidth demands to grow in just a few years. Cloud-based services make it easier for you to scale up your data capacity because you will be using their remote servers. The benefit stays even if you have to scale down.

Cloud computing infrastructure comprises hardware and software elements, including:

  • Computing power
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • A user interface for accessing virtualised resources

Virtual resources work like physical infrastructures, such as servers, memory, storage clusters, and network switches. Cloud infrastructure has the same capabilities as physical ones. However, you gain more benefits, such as greater flexibility, since you get to choose the best software technologies, computing resources, and platforms.

With this level of flexibility, your small business has a real advantage over your competitors, especially in terms of your operational efficiency.

2. You Do Not Have to Worry About Losing Data

Data loss can happen to you. It can be as simple as accidental deletions to more severe problems like malware or unauthorised access. Some data hijackers will hold data for ransom or use private data for their benefit. Modern companies, no matter their size, face these threats constantly.

Because of data dependence, it makes sense to ensure data safekeeping and the best way is to outsource data and processes to a highly secure location in the cloud.

It may look like using an in-house server is more secure than storing data that can be accessed remotely, but it’s not true. There is significantly less risk with cloud computing because providers offer authentication, permissions, encryption, and others to reinforce security.

3. Say Goodbye to Inconvenient Software Updates

Did you ever have to postpone an activity because you needed to update your operating system? Even software updates can take a long time, but they are necessary, so you have to wait until they are completed.

But one of the leading cloud computing benefits is that everything is automatically updated. The tools you need to use are maintained without doing anything, so you get as little interruption as possible. Another huge advantage is that the updates occur across the whole system simultaneously. Therefore, there are no concerns about compromising your cloud computing infrastructure.

4. Enjoy Lower Cost of Ownership

Having cloud computing services means you have additional costs to worry about, usually each month. But if you truly think about it, you’re saving so much more money. Imagine the costs of buying, storing, and maintaining physical infrastructure, not to mention providing a large room to house them. You will also need to pay the team of people that use and care for them.

All pieces of hardware come with a price tag – and don’t forget about the software licences and updates. Forget about these costs and go for cloud solutions. Cloud computing infrastructure can even be rented out from a provider or even through infrastructure as a service. The systems allow the integration of hardware and software whilst providing a single management platform for different clouds. That’s cost-efficiency right there.

5. Employees Can Work Anywhere

Many employees are back in offices, but remote work is not obsolete and will never be. The agility of your business is measured by the capability of accessing data anytime, anywhere. Today, offices use cloud-based apps, which let clients, suppliers, employees, and employers communicate easily and in real-time.

Woman working from home.

6. Facilitate Effective Team Collaboration

In line with the previous benefit, your small business can have the teams working together no matter where they may be. Editing and sharing documents can quickly be done over the Internet. Gone are the days when you would share a copy without knowing what was changed and when. Duplications of effort were an issue at that time since only the immediate user knew whatever was happening to the document.

Real-time collaboration is easy with cloud computing, improving transparency between team members. Dropbox, Microsoft Office, and Evernote are some of the biggest names in collaborative services.

7. Document Version Controls are a Non-Issue

Still, on the subject of collaboration, have you ever had problems with document versions? For example, you have a shared document and later discover that the correct version is lost due to someone modifying the document? It’s a common occurrence, and it’s extremely frustrating. It happens to small businesses with few employees.

Thankfully, cloud computing solves this issue because files are stored centrally. That means everything is stored in one place, making it easy to control versions and protect data.

8. Get the Competitive Edge Your Business Needs

Competitive advantage gained from cloud computing exists in areas you may not expect, such as advanced customer relationships and better business decisions. Using cloud big data analytics, you can gain an insightful connection with your customers. Cloud business models help meet objectives whilst providing analysis of complex business data.

And as we have mentioned, the convenience of collaboration is a huge benefit. Your business can experience increased agility, flexible capacities, and faster adoption of new technologies with efficient and practical tools. These are things that can catapult your business to success.

9. It’s Good for Sustainability

You do not need to be environmentally focused to witness the cloud computing benefits to your surroundings. Businesses grow, and so does the need for more extensive data storage. Using physical servers will require more space and power, which can be devastating to the environment due to your higher carbon footprint.

Cloud computing helps reduce your CO2 emissions since you only use what you need, whether we’re talking about physical machines or manpower.

10. Bolster Enterprise Data Security

Last but certainly not the least of cloud computing benefits is secured data. With this technology, you have protected storage despite being able to access it anywhere in the world. In the old days, you might remember how people used to send files as email attachments. The process not only took a long time, depending on the size of the file but also lacked security.

Cloud computing services offer 24/7 monitoring whilst ensuring data can only be accessed by authorised personnel. Security breaches should not be taken lightly. With numerous tactics for data protection, such as end-to-end encryption, secure data transfers, and data backups, you can be sure that data stays safe in the cloud.

Haven’t made the move to the cloud yet? Learn how XCircle can help so you can begin seeing the cloud computing benefits today.