Posted on Dec 05 2017 byin Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has come a long way since the time it started in the year 2007. Several critics thought no one would invest in cloud computing, and they were right in their reasoning at that time. After all, businesses were accustomed to physically downloading software and data on a physical computer or the server in their office. Accessing the same applications through internet was a disruptive idea and a risky one too as people were not sure of its backup capabilities. However, with passage of time and with IT majors such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon showing the world how to save valuable and large on internet without spending huge amount on infrastructure, small and large businesses have started adapting to cloud.
Not just the software applications or data, cloud can also be used in creating a multi-tier web application or static website, host, and review the web hosting on cloud using services such as Google Cloud Platform.
Now, coming back to how cloud computing can help small businesses in saving time and money, let us first understand why migration to cloud has become the need of the hour. Small business owners have a lot to do in terms of paying bills, managing employees, scheduling appointments, marketing their business through email marketing platform and a lot more. They cannot outsource it to multiple agencies to manage them. However, when small businesses enter the cloud, they have to worry less about paperwork and can focus their attention on growing their business. As all their documents are stored in the cloud, they do not have to worry about having a physical storage for documents. Also, they do not have to worry about backing the data, as they are less likely to lose their data as compared to storing them on the desktop. Considering, the challenges that small businesses have to face in managing the business, cloud can safely be called the best option for saving cost and time.
Apart from that, there are even more advantages of migrating to cloud services.
Small businesses can save money by recruiting team members who have the right skills for the job and at the same time are less costly thanks to cloud applications that have made collaboration easier. Similarly, with cloud applications such as Cisco WebEx, GoTo Meeting, and AT&T connect, it has become easier for companies to interact with remote clients and suppliers without having to travel all the way to their offices or spending money on costly conferencing equipments. Cloud applications such as G-suite and Microsoft’s office 365, has enabled the teams to work faster, collaborate better, reduce time to market, and thereby, improve the customer response time.
Cloud application can save a significant amount of money as compared to physical file storage on many fronts ranging from unnecessary use of electricity or server maintenance. For example, owning a data centre may not be feasible as many a times, the servers are not fully utilised. Similarly, if the organisation has their servers, there is more capital spent on maintaining it. With cloud computing, companies save on unutilized hardware subscriptions and other additional costs and can scale down on storage space or limit the number of users to save money.
3.Secure data = undisrupted continuity of business
One of the worst things a business can go through is a system failure. With cloud, your information is replicated across various data centres. So, if something happens with the hardware in the office, the data is not lost, and the business continuity is assured. In case of an unforeseen circumstance, the information can be accessed on different devices, and a business does not have to worry about having to rebuild a database or restore access for users. The cloud is a great way to protect the company’s data. Cloud backup services store data off-site. So, the data remains safe even in the event of a hardware failure or a disaster such as a fire or an earthquake.
In case of physical storage, companies have to check for storage space regularly. If there is a shortage, they have to wait for days to upgrade the storage space. In this quick-moving world, waiting for days could affect the business and may cause revenue loss in the long run. In case of cloud-based networks, there are no physical restrictions on the data storage. So, even if the company runs out of storage space, they can upgrade to a better storage plan according to the business requirement within minutes and without having to invest in additional hardware.
A traditionally small company always has a dedicated IT team to look after the server, and the data centre, which increases their cost. However, by moving to cloud, there is less dependency on hardware, so the need for dedicated hardware professionals decreases. Cloud is the best solution for small businesses as they can predict the need for resources as they increase and forecast the amount to be invested in them to enhance the efficiency and growth of the organisation.
Unlike conventional installation of software that takes weeks or months to be deployed across organisations, cloud software installation takes just few hours. The entire migration or installation can happen even during the working hours due to the less amount of time spent on waiting. The work is also not impacted. Adoption time is also less as compared to conventional software installation as these applications are accessible from anywhere through web browser and can be learned quickly by the employees.
While it is true that cloud computing has lot of benefits as compared to conventional IT installations, it is important to ensure that the small enterprises do not fall prey to vendors who are not well-equipped to migrate applications to the cloud or who use it as a money making gimmick. It is essential for the companies to study and compare the vendors before selecting them. A well-trusted vendor will migrate applications to the cloud only if it aligns to the business needs of the company.