Have you ever heard of the term “Cloud Computing”? If you are a small business owner, you might have heard this term tossed around during light business conversation. You might actually be semi-familiar with it and even taking advantage of some of the benefits. What does Cloud Computing mean, exactly?

Simply put, cloud computing refers to the storage of data over the Internet as opposed to on your computer or various loud, bulky and expensive servers. This data is easily accessed and shared online. Sounds simple enough, right? It gets better. Keep reading.

Learn 10 things about cloud computing that can benefit your business.

  • “Cloud Computing is ‘simple’, but does this mean it is BETTER?” Actually, yes. It is a full time job keeping up with the latest software updates, preventing security issues, installing patches and maintaining business operations. In fact, many small businesses pay a small fortune to outsourced IT technicians to do this job on a regular basis. Why waste this valuable money?

    Cloud-based software can simplify your life in many ways. Your cloud service provider can offer these software patches and updates remotely with little to no downtime and you spend a fraction of what a local technician would cost.

  • “Can my data be compromised if it is stored on the Cloud?” Technically speaking, yes. However, these days, your data isn’t safe anywhere. In recent years, many large corporations, such as Target, have been the victim of massive security breaches. As a small business owner, it is your job to outweigh the risks and decide how to protect yourself.

    How can you protect yourself and your business? Thankfully, cloud service providers offer better security than most small business owners can provide themselves. Storing your valuable data in the cloud means that it is protected by experts who are updated with the latest news on security threats and solutions.

  • “Is my data safe from Mother Nature?” Yes! In fact, your data is in better hands when in the cloud. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, lightening and blizzards all pose serious threats to your hardware. Storing your data in the cloud with continuous (automated) backups can protect your valuable data and documents so that it can be restored at any time.
  • “Can I work remotely?” Absolutely. In fact, that is one of the major benefits of working in the Cloud. You can work from home, from the office, even if you are traveling. Gone are the days when you have to email yourself important documentation for later use and storage. If you have access to the Internet, you have access to all of your company files – no matter where you are.

  • “How can my staff benefit?” With automatic software updates and maintenance availability, your staff is not obligated to wait while local technicians perform these services. This means their time can be spent working with computers that are fully functional and working at top speeds (Thank you, automated updates!). Employee efficiency is a major perk to cloud computing.

  • “Are there any connectivity benefits?” Of course! Cloud Computing is a great way to connect with your remote employees, as well as customers and prospects. Virtual conference calls and video-conferences are just a few ways to stay in contact and collaborate. This is also a great way to save money as there are no costs involved in renting a physical location. Added bonuses include Cloud-based collaboration tools which allow others to view and edit documents or presentations simultaneously.

  • “This all sounds pretty expensive. Does it cost more?” Not at all. In fact, one of the BIGGESET benefits to Cloud Computing is the financial savings. The cloud eliminates labor costs, the cost of hardware and software, and even lowers electricity bills. With Cloud Computing, you pay only for what you use – and that cost can be expanded or reduced as your company evolves.

  • “Will my team be able to collaborate as usual?” Collaboration is a great benefit to using the cloud. Documents are all stored centrally in one location. Back in the day, shared documents were emailed back and forth – making it extremely difficult for team members to know if they were working on the latest version. With the cloud, everybody can see the most recently updated document or presentation – confusion free.

  • “I expect growth within my business – can the cloud keep up?” Absolutely. Cloud computing is an excellent way to manage planned growth. Upgrading your cloud services is as easy as a simple phone call or email to your provider. In fact, within this growth you can expect savings. You won’t need to spend unnecessary funds on costly servers or software upgrades.

    Not only does the cloud assist with planned growth, it also enables you to manage unexpected business expansions. Have you ever experienced a sudden increase in customer calls? You can easily scale up to the next level of cloud-based services with no hassle.

  • “This all sounds great! Are there any other benefits?” The benefits to Cloud Computing are endless – however, there is one additional benefit and it doesn’t necessarily relate to business. Cloud Computing is environmentally friendly! By limiting the use of excess paper, printers and electricity for servers, you are essentially reducing your carbon footprints.

Ready to Sample the Cloud?

It’s obvious that cloud computing offers many advantages for small business owners. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the focus on actual business production and less on IT services and technical support. Now is the time to give it a try! Contact your local Cloud Provider and see how Cloud Computing can benefit your business and bottom line!