Cloud Computing and its Impact on Small Businesses
Cloud computing has been around for more than 20 years and continuously serves competitive advantages to many businesses. Not only that, this technology plays a major role in how businesses function nowadays. As per RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report, “91% of businesses used public cloud, and 72% used a private one.” Most enterprises utilize both options – with 69% of them opting for a hybrid cloud solution.
The data reveals that more and more tech-savvy companies recognize the benefits of cloud-computing trends. As a result, cloud computing helps them serve their customers better and dramatically increases their overall profit margins.
This article explains the different benefits of cloud computing for businesses. Moving ahead, let’s quickly know the other cloud services companies currently use.
Popular Cloud Services Businesses Use
Cloud computing offers a wide range of services, such as remote desktop hosting, accounting software, and customer service tools. It can be categorized into three groups: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
IaaS helps businesses take advantage of a range of configurations to handle different workload needs by offering things like virtual servers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two key players in this category.
PaaS: It is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, enabling it to deliver everything from simple to sophisticated apps. The famous examples in this category are Google App Engine, AWS’s Elastic Beanstalk, and Salesforce’s Lightning.
SaaS allows workers to collaborate on projects, work directly on specialized computer programs, and download files. It basically gives users access to software over the internet. The well-known examples of this category are Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365.
Top 6 Benefits of Cloud Computing
1. Improved Data Security
Organizations do have security concerns, especially when adopting a cloud-computing solution for their businesses. Every business wants its files and other data to be secured online. And according to the RapidScale report, “94% of businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 91% said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance needs.”
Therefore, improved data security is one of the most significant advantages of cloud computing. It offers advanced features related to safety and ensures that the data is securely stored and handled. It maintains the data at a central location, whether in-house or with a cloud service provider. This way, it is much more convenient to secure a centralized database from cyber threats than the data stored across many devices.
There’s another advantage regarding when the data is stolen. For instance, if a user uses an individual device to log in to the cloud network, and even if it is lost or stolen, the data will remain private or safe from unauthorized use/access.
Cloud offers several advanced features, which ensure that the data is stored and handled securely. Only employees can get access to modify their passwords. The features like granular permissions and access management can restrict access to sensitive data. Thus, cloud computing completely eliminates malicious attacks.
If your IT solutions force you to focus on computer and data storage issues, then it is hard to concentrate on reaching business goals and satisfying customers. So, relying on outside organizations to take care of all the IT hosting and infrastructure can affect your bottom line.
The cloud offers businesses more flexibility entirely. For example, if you need additional bandwidth, then a cloud-based service can meet the demands of IT infrastructure. This flexibility and improved freedom can make a big difference to the overall efficiency of your business.
3. Enhanced Collaboration
Collaboration should be the top priority if a business has more than two employees. There is no point in having a team if they cannot work together. So, cloud computing gives a solution for them. It makes collaboration simple. Team members can easily, quickly, and securely view and share information across cloud-based platforms.
In addition, some cloud-based services provide collaborative social spaces to connect employees across your organization, increasing interest and engagement. Nevertheless, collaboration is possible without cloud-computing solutions, but it might not be that easy and effective.
4. Cost Savings
You must be worried about the price tag that would come with switching to cloud computing solutions. If yes, you are not alone. Enterprises are concerned about the huge cost spent on services.
Out of many issues that the companies face, the three main challenges are – 1.) security (83%), 2.) managing cloud computing spending (82%), and 3.) governance (79%). But, companies need to consider more factors than just the initial price.
Many cloud-computing services are paid-as-you-go. So, if you don’t take advantage of what the cloud offers, at least businesses do not need to be dropping money on it.
Furthermore, cloud computing services can help your business in many ways, such as:
- Lower staff cost
- Hardware space savings
- Reduction of System hardware
- Time savings
If a small business plans to increase its operations, it must procure additional IT hardware to support its new staff. It is much easier and cost-effective to scale up or down over a cloud solution. The IT department will create new users over the cloud network to scale up. Similarly, when an employee leaves the company, the user will be removed or deleted from the cloud after securing the data.
Moreover, if the cloud solution is outsourced to a cloud service provider, the only cost of upscaling will be added for every new user. The organization has to pay a nominal usage fee if it wants a unique productivity software from the cloud service provider.
6. Disaster recovery
The term “control” is one of the factors that contribute to the success of a business. No matter how controlled the situation in your company, there will always be things that are entirely out of your control. In today’s market, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can have a significant negative impact. The downtime leads to the loss of productivity, brand reputation, and revenue.
According to the report, 43% of IT executives planned to invest in or improve cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. The cloud-based services can help to speed your business’s recovery. The services provide quick data recovery for emergency scenarios, from natural disasters to power outages.
The Cost of cloud computing
First of all, the cost depends on the type of cloud service. However, it varies from service to service. For instance, with Dropbox, users will get 2GB of storage for free. But, for advanced features, paid plans start at $20 per user per month. Secondly, the cost also depends on the industry. And lastly, it depends on the type of technical support options you want to decide.
Cloud computing makes things easier for organizations of any size. No matter how small or big the budget or resources the companies have. They can rely on the highly-trained expert staff to keep the business up and streamlined.
Here, we’ve gone through different advantages of cloud computing, including the ease of moving data and apps, which makes it an opportunity that is too big to ignore for businesses.
Do you want to share your thoughts on cloud computing? Comment below.
Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading Cloud consulting company. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_.