Migrating to Cloud: A Quick Guide to Cloud Computing For Small Businesses

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Cloud software is making a huge impact on how businesses operate. Today, many companies are moving to cloud computing systems to enable them to be more cost-efficient and stay in line with constantly changing technology.

This guide will explain cloud computing for small businesses and how it can have a positive impact.

Table of contents

  1. What Is Cloud Computing?
  2. What Is Cloud Computing Used For?
  3. What Are The Benefits Of Cloud Computing?

What Is Cloud Computing?

The term cloud computing encapsulates different cloud services available to businesses.

They give access to important information, data, and programs that are stored on a remote server. This means that files are available to employees wherever they have an internet connection.

Note - Many companies are moving to cookieless data collection, so ensure you are still tracking your performance if this is you.

Furthermore, it gives the ability for users of a range of devices the ability to find, locate, and use information regardless of the technology they use.

Information is stored remotely, so it reduces the need for small businesses to invest in IT services, which can create huge costs. Troubleshooting is also performed externally, and cloud businesses are often contactable immediately. Small businesses need to be operating as consistently as they can, so being able to fix issues quickly is extremely important.

What Is Cloud Computing Used For?

There are a wide range of uses for cloud computing for small businesses as well as big ones. Here are a few examples of some of the ways that businesses use them:

  • Storage: It allows for the storage of vast amounts of data and information that is accessible all the time from any location. A feature of this is live syncing, which means that documents are updated in real-time.

  • Information back up: This provides security and protection against server failure. It means that all of your information is always backed up in case of an emergency. More companies are starting to experience cyber security issues and cloud databases provide brilliant security to protect your company against this.

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  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Small companies benefit well from being able to access many different forms of programs online, such as customer service software or finance assistance databases. As you do not need physical installations any longer, you can invest in brilliant software at a fraction of the cost. Also, it becomes available on all the devices that have access to the server.

  • Hosting: It provides a base that can meet all the needs of a business in one place, including email services, application hosting, phone systems, and data storage. It can act as a non-physical server.

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Cloud computing is a great way to reduce costs for your small business and meet varying needs at the same time. It is often scalable and can be improved as your business grows.

What Are The Benefits Of Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a great tool for small businesses because it can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase productivity. Below are some other great benefits of investing in cloud computing.

Control

Having control over the systems and methods you use for storing data is vital to any business.

Maintaining data security and knowing that you have full agency over it can also reduce the stress on smaller businesses. When it comes to data storage, cloud-based systems are often protected. Of course, it is always a good idea to review the features of the cloud-based data system you are investing in, as many offer different levels of security and added costs can be associated with that.

Furthermore, you can be in complete control of the systems you use. Virtual education businesses can alter and adapt the software they use according to their students’ or educators’ needs.

SaaS and cloud hosting services are excellent when it comes to customizing the programs which your company needs and benefits from.

Long gone are the days of being locked into a system for an extremely long period of time just because of the initial investment. Again, talking of cost, many cloud systems come with subscription services, meaning you can switch if necessary and save yourself paying for a service that your company doesn’t need.

The age of technology is all about smaller businesses being able to adapt and change in a changing world. Cloud-based systems give you more control than ever before and can be extremely beneficial to startup companies that may not have the capital to invest in larger or more costly services initially.

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High Speeds

Cloud computing operates at an extremely high speed. This means that new ideas, software, or data can be shared almost instantaneously.

Small businesses need to be able to compete with the abilities of large businesses, and cloud computing makes that possible.

Operating at high speeds is vital nowadays, and being able to perform tasks in different parts of the globe at a reliable speed will be of huge benefit when it comes to both transactions and business communications.

Automatic Updates

Updating software can be a painstaking process when you run servers in a physical location. It requires testing, review, and assessment before it is finalized for use. This means they cannot be done often, and your software can become outdated and therefore unreliable.

Cloud-based servers are brilliant for updates. They can be deployed quickly and efficiently, and are less likely to break your systems.

This means small businesses can keep their software modernized and in touch with the world around them without relying on poorly executed updates or dealing with downtime from server maintenance.

Data Security

As a startup company, you are likely to be concerned about protecting your own and your customers’ data. Stories are always being shared about businesses that didn’t protect data and faced the consequences for that.

There is a wide range of security systems available when storing your information online. You can ensure that only certain employees have access to sensitive data and that it requires more rigorous forms of authentication to access.

Also, as a smaller business, start as you mean to go on. Your positive practices now will uphold into the future of your company and ultimately reduce stress around protecting data.

Competitive Edge

For businesses that focus on producing search engine optimization content, reviewing the mistakes made in SEO and redirecting can give them a competitive edge. To this aim, what many companies are also doing is moving to cloud-based systems. Cloud adoption is increasing every year. Unsurprising, since more businesses are realizing that the systems available are beneficial to their company.

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As a small business, it is still relatively low-cost for you to invest in cloud-based systems now. Whilst giving you access to all the tools mentioned in this article, it will also give you a competitive edge.

Other companies and individuals will be much more likely to invest in your company if you are up-to-date when it comes to technology. You’ll come across as aspirational with a clear desire for growth within your business.

Quality Assurance

QA testing companies are focused on providing assurance of product; they do this by maintaining communication and collaboration between employees. Cloud systems can allow any business to do this as well.

All documents will be of the same format and updated constantly, keeping all members up to date with changes in the information.

Managing information in different silos is a thing of the past and can cause disparities in communication and information. It also means that files may not be shared in the right way and people may not be able to access them if they suddenly need to.

Cloud systems can be edited and changed quickly if necessary, meaning that if others need to view the information, they can do it instantly.

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Disaster Recovery

Being in control is extremely important. The ability to choose when or how a transaction happens or having agency over who can access particular forms of data are both vital, particularly to new businesses.

However, there are many events in the business world that take place which we have limited control over.

Whilst we may be unable to anticipate these situations, we can prepare. Cloud-based systems offer great methods for recovering information and supporting businesses that are experiencing a disaster.

Since this reduces downtime, it also increases efficiency. The business world of today is fast-paced and unforgiving, so you need to ensure you use cloud computing to ensure you can be back on track as quickly as possible.

Sustainability

For many businesses today, there is a huge focus on how their practices impact the environment. When smaller businesses are able to say that they are climate-conscious, it stands them in good stead with investors and can improve digital customer engagement.

Physical systems and software require a huge amount of electricity and space to run.

Reducing waste in your company is a great way of investing in the planet and your own growth. There are many cloud-system companies that are climate-positive and cite the reduction in the requirement for paper, hardware, space, and electricity as their reasoning.

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Final Thoughts

For small businesses today, it is key to stay ahead of the curve and try to maintain momentum. Investing in cloud-based software is a great way of doing this.

You can stay up-to-date with new changes in technology and are able to invest in new software at an extremely low cost.

There are countless benefits to using cloud computing for small businesses, especially if you want to scale up as a company.

Deciding which company to go with is a tough choice, but reflect on the needs of your business and compare that with the features they offer. You will quickly realize that the future is leading toward all systems and software being accessible online due to the capabilities in communication, collaboration, cost reduction, and sustainability.

Author: Grace Lau - Director of Growth Content, Dialpad

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, the best phone system for business for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn. Grace Lau has also written content for Shift4Shop and Tapfiliate.

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