Cloud computing is all the rage, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every business. While the cloud has been dominated by larger businesses, corporations, and enterprise companies that require secure data storage and constant access, small businesses and startups have many of the same needs to a smaller degree, making the scalable cloud an affordable option.
Cloud lets you start small with room to grow. A small business or startup has lower data storage needs, but also needs room to grow, sometimes at a very fast pace. A business’s cloud can easily be scaled up or down to suit its changing needs. Even if you don’t have a lot of data storage needs now, the cloud will be ready when you are.
Cloud syncs all data, devices, and systems. Storing information on the cloud means information is always in sync. Most small businesses can’t afford a full-time IT specialist to oversee systems and install updates and new software. When information is stored on the cloud, updates and installations can be implemented across an entire system at once. Products such as automated billing software for SalesForce can be installed across all computers and business devices as a one-time installation, and updates are made the same way.
Cloud is safe and secure. There’s a lot of talk about cloud security breaches, when cloud is still the safest way to store information to date. A business must comply with data security measures, and so must a cloud service provider, so moving information to the cloud can help a business maintain required compliance with little effort. When it comes to business continuity and making sure that information is always available, cloud storage ensures round-the-clock access from any location in the world, making it a great option for a growing number of companies conducting business away from the office. In fact, cloud has allowed a number of businesses to take the office out of the equation completely.
Know where your server and data are physically located. Cloud storage keeps your secure information offsite, making it impervious to loss or damage from fire, flood, and other acts of nature. But your business’s dedicated server is physically stored somewhere. Find out if your server is owned and operated by your cloud service provider or a third party provider, and make sure your data will continue to be stored in the same location. If your data is held at an offshore location, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your data is still in compliance with the data security measures of your business’s country of operation.
Cloud should require very little support from your business. Cloud is easy to implement, because your service provider takes care of the IT end of operations. Services should come with ongoing support that requires little effort from the business itself.
Find the Measurable Benefits
Your cloud service provider should be able to show you the tangible benefits to your business before the service is implemented, or else cloud computing may not be right for your business. Moving data to the cloud should help your business meet its customer-based goals.
Any business solution should bring a measurable benefit to that business, and a cloud service provider should be able to explain and prove that benefit in advance.