4 Things Every Business Owner Should Know About Cloud ComputingJuly 17, 2019
Author: Jen McKenzie
It’s funny how technology has a way for permeating our lives: For example, the internet was a novel thing in 1990, and most of us had no idea about it, but, today, most of us depend on the internet to perform our day-to-day activities.
The same can be said about cloud computing, the technology behind your email, your smartphone, and most of the apps you use.
And, it’s no wonder why these technologies spread at such a meteoric speed.
The benefits they bring turn them from a luxury to a necessity in no time, and nowhere is this more clear than in the realm of business, where the smallest advantage can make a huge difference on the bottom line.
This is even more so for small business owners who have to compete with much larger corporations while being straddled with a smaller budget.
So, if you are a small business owner asking yourself what are the benefits of cloud computing and whether to adopt it, this is for you.
What Do We Mean By Cloud Computing?
You rely on your personal computer to perform a few key activities, right?
Odds are you use your computer to store important documents, do important calculations (such as your taxes), and run other software that is essential to your business.
Well, in simple terms, a cloud computer is a computer that is probably miles and miles away from you but can still perform the main actions you need it to.
Using a cloud computer is the same as renting computing power and getting what you paid for through the internet.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing
Now, just as is the case when you rent a car instead of buying one, cloud computing has several benefits to offer.
1. Cloud Computing Can Save You Money
When you rent computing power, you are only paying for what you are using, nothing more.
Hence, if your computing needs are beneath a certain threshold which it probably is unless you’re trying to build a tech company to rival Google, it will be cheaper for you to use cloud computing rather than buying the hardware and software yourself.
The current estimate tells that the American federal government spends around $90 billion on information technology, and over the past five years, around thirteen governmental agencies have reported saving $291 million in total.
However, seeing as most agencies weren’t able to report on the outcome of their cloud investments, these figures under-represent the actual numbers.
Because you are using someone else’s computer, you never have to worry about maintenance costs or hiring an IT team. And, most cloud service providers make using their servers an easy and intuitive process so that you can get started right away.
Also, there are many ways you can increase your business’s productivity, cloud computing is definitely one of them.
On the one hand, installing cloud software, which usually takes a few hours, is faster than installing the software in-house, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Owing to the fact that all you need to access the cloud is the internet and terminal, you and your employees can use the cloud anywhere, any time.
2. Cloud Computing Makes Your Team More Flexible Than Ever
Speaking of being able to access your important information anywhere, anytime, this option not only saves you money, but it also makes your team much more flexible, especially if some team members have to travel or telecommute.
Imagine the following scenarios:
- The next time your team goes to give a client a presentation, they never have to worry about forgetting any crucial file at the office because everything is already available on the cloud.
- If there is ever an emergency and one of your key employees is not around, say they went home – you can still have said employee contribute to the work through the cloud.
- Thanks to the cloud, you can find it much easier to hire employees from abroad, giving you a much wider talent pool to choose from.
3. Cloud Computing Ensures That Your Documents are Always Up-to-date
When Henry Ford introduced the conveyor belt to his assembly line, he brought down the production of Model T cars from 12 hours to only an hour and a half.
Introducing cloud computing to your organization has the potential to make your outfit that much more organized and efficient.
Even though your files and data may be stored in a distant server, that distant server functions as a centralized silo, where any time a file is amended or altered, everybody in the organization knows about it.
Here’s a good example:
Let’s say you and your team are working on a big project, and each member needs to work on the same file.
Without cloud computing, each member will have a copy of that file and work off that. This usually results in some team members’ work overlapping. No one will realize until it’s too late.
With cloud computing, you will all be working off the same centralized file without ever overlapping with one another. Everyone will be confident that they are working off the latest version of the file instead of an early, obsolete version.
4. Cloud Computing Preserves Your Data
When you store your data on your own hardware, this data is liable to get lost. For instance, if your laptop gets stolen, or if your company’s computers get destroyed by some natural disaster, the data on those devices get lost forever.
Also, hard drives, laptops, and computers all have a natural life span, and after their natural life is over, these devices just break down.
The good news is that, with cloud computing, you can create digital backups for all your important data without ever having to worry about losing them.
So, Should You Go to The Cloud?
Throughout this article, we’ve focused on some main benefits of the cloud, including increased efficiency and lower costs.
However, if you want to have a more holistic view of this opportunity, you need to develop a better understanding of this technology’s capabilities as well as some of the myths surrounding it.
About the Author
Jen McKenzie is an independent business consultant from New York. She writes extensively on business, education and human resource topics. When Jennifer is not at her desk working, you can usually find her hiking or taking a road trip with her two dogs. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie