You hear a lot about cloud computing – off-site storage of company information available across numerous platforms from any location that has Internet access. Instead of company data being stored on office hard drives, the information is uploaded to the cloud and downloaded when you need it.
It’s the next step in the on-going evolution of business connectivity and activity, and recently, Nevada State Bank hosted a webinar on what cloud computing is and how it benefits small businesses in town or on the other side of the world. You can view the webinar at your convenience by clicking the link above. It’s an eye-opener that’ll have you wondering why your company doesn’t already enjoy the benefits of the cloud.
What are the advantages of cloud computing? It can help you lower costs, keep business information safer, and increase accessibility to client data with a few clicks of a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop.
1. Cloud computing keeps it simple. You don’t need an IT professional to set you up, and updates to business information are done automatically.
If your company employs an IT specialist, use that valued employee’s time more productively with cloud computing. You don’t need an information technologist to maintain your business cloud, so this professional’s time can be used to help you improve business systems, boosting productivity and margins.
If you’re paying for outside IT services, put your IT team to work on more innovative projects. Cloud computing software handles most of the storage chores, so that expensive team of highly-trained experts can work on other in-house systems to improve business performance.
2. Company continuity is an invaluable benefit of cloud computing. Is your business located in a flood zone? Ever watch a hurricane move closer and closer to your company? Have you felt the earth move under you during an earthquake?
Even if your workplace and your servers are underwater from a week of flooding, your company data is still high and dry when it’s stored in the cloud. You can deliver continuity to customers and clients because you can recover from a natural disaster much faster. You don’t have to re-create client files. They’re stored off-site, so even if your office building burns to the ground, you’re up and running ASAP using off-site data storage in the cloud.
3. Cloud computing helps deliver data security. Just because your company hasn’t yet been victimized by hackers, that doesn’t mean you’re protected. The black hats of the Internet are always looking for soft targets that keep lots of information on file, from employee Social Security numbers to bank account PINs, making account access a breeze for any hacker.
Cloud computing companies employ high levels of encryption as you move data between the cloud and your office hard drive, and that sensitive information you want to keep secure is protected by your office security and multiple layers of cloud security.
Hackers look for easy targets. Move company data off-site to the cloud and make it much more difficult to breach your business’ security.
4. Using the cloud to store data makes collaboration simpler, boosting employee efficiency. Data is automatically uploaded to a secure site that can be accessed by other collaborators who can work on the project simultaneously, without a hard-wired connection.
Collaborate with co-workers, with clients, vendors, sub-contractors, outsources – each with a different set of permissions. You can also assign tasks to each stakeholder using the simple dashboard provided by the cloud provider. Need a piece done by tomorrow? Upload the assignment to the task file, assign the employee who will perform the task, and that employee will upload the finished piece to the cloud where you can download it for review.
5. Information on the go is another benefit of cloud storage. In today’s business world, activity can take place in different time zones, over long periods of time. You may want to work on a project over the weekend, but if the data you need is locked in the office, it’ll have to wait until Monday.
With cloud computing, and the proper permissions, you can work from the road, anywhere you have access to the Internet. Today, businesses are no longer tethered to a desktop. Laptops, tablets, smartphones – all have the ability to access cloud-based information when you need it.
6. Cloud computing is affordable. It’s easy and inexpensive to open and maintain cloud-based storage. It’s one of the biggest benefits this technology delivers. Instead of shelling out a wad of capital on costly security and storage software, pay-as-you go month to month. This is especially helpful for start-ups short on cash, but long on great ideas.
7. Cloud computing operates cross-platform. You can access company data using any digital device with Internet access. The document you’re looking for was created on a desktop, edited on a laptop, reviewed on a tablet, and now you can download it to your smartphone before the big meeting.
There’s no need to hire an IT pro to sync up all of these various devices. Cloud computing software syncs up operating systems automatically, so you and your team can access company data using any Internet-enabled device.
8. Cloud computing is scalable. You can start with a small amount of storage space and add more as your company collects more data, works on more projects, or expands operations with new product offerings. There’s no need to purchase expensive hardware, bigger hard drives, or faster CPUs when you employ cloud computing to manage company information.
9. Cloud computing often comes with additional software. Many small businesses run lean. Money is tight, and making an expensive software purchase is out of the question. Cloud computing often provides access to highly-sophisticated and expensive software that your business may not be able to purchase. If it comes as part of your cloud service’s offerings, you don’t have to lay out a lot of cash to use more sophisticated software.
10. Finally, cloud computing is flexible. First, choose a company that provides a free trial offer – 30 days free use of the cloud – to see for yourself just how beneficial this technology is. You can unsubscribe if a particular cloud computing software doesn’t meet your needs. You don’t need to install or uninstall software on office hard drives. This enables you to try new software before you buy it.
Cloud computing will become more and more powerful in the years to come, so now’s the time to get your head in the clouds, and your business operating at sky-high levels with cloud computing.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.