How the Cloud is Reshaping Small Business
Whether you’ve embraced it already or have yet to tap its potential, there’s no denying that the cloud is revolutionizing how small businesses operate on a variety of levels. Here are four good reasons to consider joining the revolution:
1. The Cloud is Easy
Cloud-based anything means letting someone else worry about storage capacity, software updates, file security and other tech tasks that keep business owners up at night. When your business works in the cloud, the only real requirement is reliable, high-speed internet, which you probably already have (or can easily get from your provider).
With this in place, practically anything you need to run your business, from spreadsheet applications to point-of-sale systems, can be accessed from secure servers with virtually limitless capacity to accommodate you. If you’ve ever used Gmail or apps like Google Drive, Docs, or Hangouts, you’ve already worked in the cloud and know how simple and convenient it can be.
2. The Cloud is Economical
When your business isn’t footing the bill for expensive servers to store files and keep them secure – or the staff to do this – it’s saving money. But that’s just one economic perk. Since cloud-based commerce allows you to eliminate these mundane and tedious tasks, it’s freeing up valuable human resources for other work.
Toyota, while not a small business by any stretch, provides an excellent example that any business can learn from. By using cloud-based applications in a variety of areas, the innovative carmaker was able to reallocate IT staff to advance the technology of their vehicles.
3. The Cloud Is Essential (Almost)
Take a mental inventory of the devices your employees use at work and at home. Chances are it’s a mix of Apple, Android and Microsoft based gadgets that would barely be compatible if it weren’t for cloud-based applications with universal access.
For example, say you run a public relations firm in Seattle and your client wants a press release out immediately on a new product launch. However, your writer and content expert is in Boston. Using Gmail, you can send her the brief from your iPhone, which she can view on her Surface. She can then write the release using Google Docs and send it to your client for review on his Android phone. Now that’s accommodating.
4. The Cloud is Empathetic
As a small business owner, you understand the value of retaining good employees, and how losing even one can be a major disruption. By working in the cloud, you can reduce employee turnover due to the birth of a child or a move to another city. Everything an employee needs to work remotely is virtually at their fingertips.
For a workforce that will give you its best in exchange for greater flexibility, the cloud is the ultimate solution. Considering studies suggest employees are more productive when they work at home, it seems more than a reasonable trade-off.
No matter what industry you’re in or where your small business operates, the cloud is casting a shadow of opportunity – and creating a climate of success for small businesses.