Small businesses often struggle to take the leap from early growth to long-term success. With better connectivity and faster computers, cloud computing has changed the way business owners can operate. Repetitive tasks can be automated, and employees can be kept on the same page – including remote workers.
If your business isn’t making the most of “the cloud” then it’s definitely time to start. This guide will explain some of the main reasons why cloud technology is so valuable for small businesses.
The Benefits of Cloud-Based Technology for Small Businesses
The 2022 State of Cloud Computing Report by Flexera surveyed 753 respondents in a variety of industries. They found huge growth in the small and medium business (SMB) sector, with a 38% increase from 2021–experts estimate 62% of information will exist in the cloud this year.
Cloud technology modifies small businesses in a variety of beneficial ways. Here are some of the main ways cloud computing is changing the way SMBs operate.
1. Better Security
When you tap into the power of cloud computing, you use a third-party provider. Because they pool resources for a number of different companies, they can afford to hire 24/7 IT staff and invest in the latest security technologies.
Your data will be at lower risk from hackers, and your data will always be backed-up and secure. You’ll gain access to the best antivirus protection as most cloud providers invest in top-of-the-line software.
2. Automatic Backups
With the cloud, your information is backed up. Rather than spending days down, you’ll be able to restore your systems immediately and keep serving the customers who depend on you.
Some of the situations that might take a traditional on-site server down but aren’t as likely to hurt a cloud-based system include:
- Natural disasters
- Disgruntled employees deleting files
- Computer crashes
Those are just a few of the ways you can avoid a catastrophic loss of data.
3. Improved Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Finding loyal customers can make your business thrive. CRM is the key to developing long-term relationships with people who order from you repeatedly. When you put your data in the cloud, you can easily pull reports or automate processes.
For example, you might send a reminder email when it’s time to reorder. Automate thank yous and segment your audience to notify them of the new product arrivals or sales they would be most interested in.
Check out our complete marketing automation guide for more ideas.
4. Streamlined System for Remote Workers
Remote work has become a standard feature for many companies. Researchers expect around 25% of all work to be remote by the end of the year. When your data is on the cloud, those working from home or out in the field can easily access what they need to do their jobs effectively.
With cloud-based technology, you can limit who sees what. Want to allow some of your leaders to see more than other positions in the company? It only requires a few settings, and you can get the cloud system to adapt to any infrastructure setup imaginable.
5. Cost Savings
Hiring a full-time IT team to monitor your network is cost prohibitive for most small business owners. When you put your data in the cloud, you save a ton of money on IT costs because you’re splitting the fees amongst the cloud provider’s customers.
Not only will you save money, but you’ll have the latest software automatically upgraded. You will also gain monitoring around the clock instead of only during business hours.
Gain Scalability With the Cloud
As your business grows, you can upgrade your cloud computing packages to handle the new workload. Make sure you choose a provider that offers a wide range of packages to best meet your needs. Scaling a business up requires attention to detail, but you can save time and effort with cloud scaling when you choose a host that understands business needs.
Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.