7 ways cloud computing can help small businesses

My Cloud Voice

Businesses of all sizes can leverage modern technology and operate more efficiently by adopting cloud-based services like hosted VoIP and call centres.

Cloud service providers have grown in variety and become more secure over the past decade, making them practical options for small businesses. The scalability of cloud technology has also made advanced applications available that were once only affordable for large organizations. Below are some of the ways cloud services can help small businesses like yours compete in today’s market.  

1. Discover More Business Opportunities

Cloud software can create new business opportunities that weren’t possible with traditional in-house or onsite technology. For example, a business that limits its technology assets to its own facilities has a more difficult time communicating with remote team members, making it more expensive to send employees to other countries or hire talent that isn’t able to relocate.

Developing in-house cloud apps can also turn into opportunities when you realize that a tool you invent for your own internal use could become a product you can sell to other businesses. Cloud technology can quickly transform internal tools into customer-facing products because they can be accessed from anywhere and scale seamlessly to any number of users.

2. Level the Playing Field with Larger Competitors

Cloud computing services have democratized technology, making it affordable for start-ups and small businesses to deploy tools that were once only affordable for companies with large in-house IT departments. Services and assets like voice calling, database and web servers, data processing, human resources, and business intelligence are just some examples of business functions that can be outsourced to cloud service providers today. This makes it possible to quickly assemble a world-class technology platform at a fraction of the IT budget it would have cost in the past.

3. Access Data and Applications Remotely

Operating over the internet with remote servers makes it possible for your organization to loosen the limitations of its own geography. Your employees will be able to access your technology platform from locations other than their local office. They can work from home more effectively and perform work while they travel. On the other hand, you can unify the technologies used by multiple locations to a single platform that’s used by all of them, which saves money and time. The flexibility and efficiency of cloud technology helps small businesses operate like national or multinational organizations.

4. Pay Only for the Capacity that You Need

The initial hoopla about cloud computing was the big savings that it represented for companies that were able to pare down their technology budgets by outsourcing them to third-party service providers. The savings didn’t go away, but it applies to small businesses and start-ups in different ways. The scalability of cloud services makes it possible for a business of any size to purchase services at the capacity that they need on any given day. It isn’t necessary for businesses today to buy hardware or improve software in order to support rapid growth. The capacity already exists in remote data centers, ready to be leased when you need it. If you experience a sudden drop in capacity demand, the service can be adjusted just as quickly to avoid over spending.

5. Let Someone Else Handle Security and Backups

Another advantage of switching to cloud services for small businesses is that it outsources much of the security and maintenance labor that would go along with owning the hardware and infrastructure themselves. Cloud service providers like Epik Networks have the expertise and storage capacity to handle all these details, and they have more incentive to make sure their systems stay secure. Given the cost and difficulty of managing a network and data security department in-house, this represents a substantial benefit to small companies. They need to stay agile and focus their resources on their core business, and cloud services help them do that.  

6. Spend Less Time Reinventing Wheels 

Companies today spend less time developing in-house software because cloud computing makes development and distribution of software services easier. That means if you need a technology solution that many other companies need, chances are there are existing products available as cloud services that meet that need.

If you need a solution tailored to your company’s unique products, it’s often less expensive to customize an existing application than to build a new one from scratch. This is another way cloud computing has democratized technology. Companies can now share their applications as services to other companies, which saves everyone the labor and expense of reinventing wheels.

7. Eliminate the Cost of Owning Hardware

We’ve saved this benefit for last because it’s the one that was widely touted at the beginning of the cloud technology revolution. If you own hardware and network infrastructure that a remote cloud service would eliminate, you can safely remove the overhead budget for its maintenance and depreciation as an immediate savings when you make the switch. If you’re a small business without existing hardware, it’s an investment you won’t need to make to enjoy the benefits of modern technology.