Ready To Work Anywhere? Look To The Cloud.
Is your business using any cloud-based programs or services? From online email service to much more advanced applications, over the past few years cloud computing has provided solutions for businesses of all sizes. Cloud, or internet, computing gives you access to web-based applications and an IT infrastructure as a service, rather than installing a program on your computer or office server. This can offer a long list of advantages—chief among them are cost savings and ease of use.
The rise of cloud computing has created an opportunity for companies to access advanced technology on a small-business budget. They have a much smaller capital outlay for web-based software and a more efficient and streamlined business model.
Lower capital expenses are one of the biggest advantages for small businesses to use cloud computing. Subscription-based software can eliminate the need for hardware such as servers as well as large upfront expenditures for software purchases and licenses, and can reduce desk costs by lowering overall overhead cost.
Cloud-based software can also slash IT expenses, as the software provider’s staff can handle implementation, maintenance and troubleshooting should problems arise. It’s hosted remotely, so no additional server hardware is needed and updates are automatic. Plus, your solution provider shares the risk and accountability in this long-term, pay-as-you-go relationship. It’s in the provider’s best interest to provide a great product and experience.
Reputable cloud-based solution providers will ensure your data is safe and secure. They should meet or exceed standards for security, business continuity and disaster recovery. Businesses should not need to spend their time or resources on these vital contingency plans as their solutions provider will cover it as a part of their subscription.
As cloud computing only requires an internet connection, it provides you with a truly mobile workstation. As long as the web is available, which is easily accomplished with mobile hotspots, staff can work from any location. There’s no longer a need to run back to the office to update a contact, send a proposal or enter an order.
Increased mobility reduces business overhead costs related to desk, infrastructure and security costs. With staff able to work on the go, or stationed in various territories, it can improve business reach.
Subscription-based software is also scalable, enabling new staff to be added quickly. There’s no waiting for software to install, activate and integrate—all it takes is a login. Many of these systems are end-to-end programs that (while robust) have been developed for simplicity and ease of use—which makes for much quicker training. With reduced overhead and quick training, onboarding new employees becomes less expensive and drains fewer resources.
Because most cloud-based solutions work in real time, business intelligence is easy to gather. Rather than wait for weekly or monthly updates, many systems offer business analysis tools and reporting that can provide up-to-the-minute data. Such information is powerful in helping businesses meet their goals.
It’s clear that cloud computing can provide a host of benefits to small businesses. Companies that want to be more quick, agile and streamlined should consider if cloud-based software can provide them with an opportunity for growth.
Dan Rochette is chief technology officer at industry business services company Facilisgroup.
Get Your Tech On
Learn more about technology and its applications to your business at the PPAI Technology Summit, August 16-18, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Over the course of two and a half days, this program brings together technology leaders and practitioners from across the industry to tackle the challenges facing this critical aspect of business. See the speaker lineup, get details and register here.