Angie Mansfield

Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield writes about a variety of topics for consumers and small business owners, including stress management, marketing, and social media.

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Take Your Small Business to the Clouds

Angie Mansfield

December 11, 2013

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IT infrastructure, support, and maintenance can be a costly proposition for even small businesses.

With the need to constantly update or replace software, keep enough servers to manage all of the company's data needs, and keep that equipment and software working well together, costs can add up quickly.

For a growing number of businesses of all sizes, cloud computing is the answer.

Here are just a few ways taking your business to the cloud can help you not only succeed -- but thrive in a competitive marketplace:

Save space and money on your IT department

If you keep all of your IT services in-house, you're eventually going to need a lot of space to house your servers.

You'll also have to handle maintenance, repair, upgrading, and replacing both software and servers on your own -- and that can be difficult or impossible if you don't have the budget for an IT support staff.

With a cloud host, most of those tasks are handled by the host, taking the pressure off your own IT employees.

This can add up to significant savings, since you won't have to buy your own servers, take up valuable floor space to house them, or hire staff to take care of them.

Better storage and protection options

As a small business, you frequently have to choose the most affordable option when it comes to equipment and software. You may just not have the budget for bigger and better servers.

The beauty of cloud computing is that you can pay for what you use, instead of having to purchase a whole, huge server.

Your data will also be available from everywhere. And, because cloud hosts provide regular backups, you won't have to worry about losing huge chunks of data in the case of a fire or other disaster.

File sharing process will become faster and easier

Since you won't have to buy an expensive license for every software program you use (you'll pay a subscription for what you need), it will be easier to upgrade your business to newer and better applications.

And with better database management and data integration tools, managing your files will be much less troublesome.

Not only that, but you'll also be able to switch office locations if necessary, without worrying about how you'll move the mountains of data you've collected.

Ability to collaborate easily

Perhaps most important out of all the items on this list, the cloud allows you to test new ideas, come up with new marketing models, and collaborate easily and in real-time. You won't have to worry about sending a hundred emails back and forth or passing around growing stacks of paper copies.

Cloud computing is a valuable option for any business, but may be downright crucial for smaller companies without huge IT budgets.

By purchasing only the storage space and software solutions you need, you can concentrate on growing your small business -- without worrying about how you'll pay for that new server or IT staff.


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