It’s a hot question these days: should I base my small business in the cloud? We are, of course, referring to cloud computing. If you can get your office set up in actual celestial clouds, then you’re already miles ahead of the rest of us.
Cloud computing is probably the best thing to have happened for small businesses in years. It can save an incredible amount of money. Sure, you may not be able to tinker everything to your exact specifications. But with cloud computing, you don’t need the physical infrastructure for servers and storage systems. And with cloud-based freeware, you don’t have to spend so much as licenses for boxed software. It can help you so much when you’re just started up.
There are a lot of understandable worries when it comes to cloud computing for your business. Security, stability, and data ownership issues often worry business owners. Cloud services may also go down, which will leave your business and your customers potentially unable to work or use your service. These problems are solely under the control of the company providing the cloud service, which brings some risk into the equation.
Of course, these issues can be largely negated by being careful who you sign up with. Careful review of the terms and conditions will make it clear exactly who the entered data belongs to. You can also check customer reviews to see what their reliability is like. Keeping everything online is a lot more secure than you may think.
The efficiency of cloud computing for businesses is also incredible. As long as you have a fast Internet connection – and that’s easy to find and very cheap these days – you shouldn’t run into technical problems. If you need more space, it’s easy for the company to add gigabytes to the allowed usage. With your own hardware, it’s possible you’d have to make expensive modifications.
So what services are currently available on the cloud that will help your business? Pretty much anything your small business would need can be found online. Email hosting is easy enough to get hold of. Getting email accounts with the same domain as your official website is a must for business. It adds that true professional touch. Relying on your own email servers actually complicates the whole process.
Collaboration is made easy in the cloud. Project management and collaboration is much easier to do when everything is in the cloud. Several users can access the same schedules and relevant files simultaneously. Tools like Google Drive allow everyone in your company to access, upload, edit and download the same master documents.
You’ll also be able to access everything pretty much anywhere you go. Your files aren’t stuck on a single computer or a single server. When files are in the cloud, you could access them from your mobile device in the Himalayas if you wanted. It doesn’t sound very efficient, but hey, you could still do it! Websites like Dropbox allow you to upload massive files that anyone in your company can download. It saves on paperwork, too!
There is the potential issue of people getting confused when you have so many different tools for different tasks. But your employees will soon get used to it. And considering the convenience and the massive savings in cash, it’s more than worth considering.