Cloud computing for small businesses
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Small organizations operate with a totally different budget and have different technology needs than enterprises. Is there anything like cloud computing for a small business? Of course, there are cloud-based services designed specially for smaller companies. Read our article and learn more about cloud computing solutions for small businesses. 

There is no company type or size that cannot benefit from cloud technology. No matter if you’re running a one person business, a micro-, small or big company – properly used, cloud-based services can improve your efficiency and reduce the costs of running your organization. We are happy to explain what cloud computing is for small businesses, and what type of services you can consider taking advantage of in your day-to-day work. 

What are some cloud computing services for small businesses?

There are several cloud computing solutions for small businesses that you may find useful:

  • Cloud storage – every company stores some files (documents, contracts, spreadsheets, graphics) and data (of its customers, employees, related to its products or services etc.). Cloud storage services are an alternative solution to storing everything in a physical data center. Cloud-based storage enables users to easily access, share and modify data via the internet from any place and any device. 
  • Cloud backup – people often think that cloud storage and cloud backup are the same services. Well, it is true that companies that use cloud storage are often offered backup as well, but this service has been designed not for storing data, but as a failsafe. Due to hardware failure, a server crash or cyberattack, you may lose access to your data. Backups exist to help you retrieve information and files important for your business operations. 
  • Cloud hosting – cloud hosting is mostly leveraged by software houses and tech companies for hosting their applications, data storage and other cloud-based solutions. It can also be used for hosting web-based phone systems or email services.
  • Software-as-a-service – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a wide group of services you can access by your web browser or mobile application. There are many various cloud-based solutions for small companies that allow them to operate more efficiently by optimizing some processes (for example, marketing campaigns) or automating them. 

Cloud services are mostly meant for all types of businesses and organized in packages with different functionalities. This way, smaller companies can select the best option in terms of price and features. 

Benefits of cloud computing for small businesses

Picking cloud computing services for a small business instead of on-premises, traditional solutions,  has many significant advantages. Using cloud-based storage and tools will make your company more flexible, so you can adjust to changes on the market. 

You don’t have to hire an in-house IT team

Hiring an experienced IT staff is not a cheap thing. If you decide to build your own data center and use complex, on-premises software, you will need full-time IT employees that will maintain your devices, manage your infrastructure and install and update your systems. At the same time, cloud services are fully-managed by their providers. You only need to pay for access to the features or storage space you need. The only equipment you have to get are computers for you and your employees.

Saving time, space and money 

If you leverage cloud services, you don’t need your own data center, which means you don’t have to invest in the extra space or devices. This way you save money and space. Additionally, you don’t have to remember about running software updates. The cloud service providers handle it for you – you will always have access to your applications’ latest features. 

Sustainability assured

Becoming sustainable is a big trend in various industries these days. By reducing your negative impact on the environment, you are not only helping your planet, but also  increasing your competitiveness. Moving to the cloud means that you don’t need to buy electronic devices, and you use less energy on a daily basis because you don’t have to power your own data center. With cloud services, you can even reduce CO2 emission by encouraging your employees to work remotely from their homes.

Improved mobility and collaboration

Data, files and software in the cloud can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. That means that you and your employees can work remotely from home. Moreover, you can share information and documents with people and third parties from all over the world, which significantly improves your capability to cooperate with any expert you currently need on a project. Cloud-based services allow you to view, modify and share your resources on any device (mobile, computer, tablet). You only require an internet connection. 

Unlimited scalability 

Most companies aspire to grow in time – develop their services or products and increase their number of customers. Of course, this may take some time, but wouldn’t it be better to get prepared for that from the very beginning? Cloud services are highly scalable. Actually, for a small company, the scaling capabilities of the cloud may seem unlimited. You can start from free-of-charge packages and easily switch to a package with more complex features when you need to. You can also scale down with just a few clicks if you no longer require some functionalities.

Cloud computing costs for small business

Cloud computing for small businesses and enterprises comes with probably the most flexible pricing model that will ever exist. Of course, the cost of the service varies and depends on the service provider and type of cloud service. 

Some of the cloud storage, file-sharing and Software-as-a-Service plans start with free accounts with minimum features or limited storage space; for example, Google and Dropbox offer such solutions. Then there are paid plans with more storage space or advanced functionalities that you have to pay for once a year or once a month. For backup, recovery and hosting services, users usually have to pay each month as well. Software-as-a-service’s price also depends on the number of users that will access the specific solution. 

Generally, cloud-based solutions for small, medium and large companies are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means that your invoice is based on the amount of resources you actually have used in some period of time. 

How do you start with cloud computing in a small company? 

Cloud computing for small businesses takes many forms. Services in the cloud can come in various pricing models, include various services and be offered in many packages. It is impossible to identify the best cloud computing for small business across the board, because companies operate in different business models, with their own goals, processes and requirements. 

How do you select the best type of cloud computing for your small business? 

  1. Consider carefully what sort of tools your organization needs right now. Remember, you can always move to a higher package or change your cloud-service provider in the future. 
  2. Compare the offers of various cloud service providers. Useful features and tools are important, as well as the right price, but you can’t forget about data security, compliance and intuitiveness. 
  3. Evaluate your current solutions and scale up or down if you need to.

Do you think you require customized business tools? Contact us, and let us know what type of cloud-based solutions you have in mind.

Author

  • Paweł works with cloud computing technologies, especially as a Data Engineer on the Google Cloud Platform. His favourite areas are data pipeline performance tuning and financial optimization. He loves mountain sports and exciting cuisine.

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