Cloud communications have given enterprises a tremendous leg up, and can have a big impact on small businesses, too. The cloud might sound like an intimidating technology, but it has the power to revolutionize how small businesses operate.
In a competitive environment, growing businesses need every advantage they can get — and the cloud offers it. Learn what cloud communications are and how small businesses benefit from cloud computing.
What Are Cloud Communications?
If you’ve ever used Google Docs, Netflix, or social media like TikTok, you’ve seen cloud computing in action.
Instead of storing files, applications, or programs locally on your computer, the cloud lets you store them remotely in a third-party data center. As long as you have an internet connection, you can remotely access your work from anywhere. There’s no need to have a physical server of your own; a cloud communications vendor handles all of the hardware for you.
Because cloud computing allows small business owners to work from anywhere, it grew in popularity during the COVID pandemic. Today, cloud communications allow small businesses to continue operating whenever, wherever.
5 Ways Cloud Communications Help Small Businesses
Switching to the cloud might sound intimidating, but with an experienced cloud expert like Dice on your side, you’ll soon see the benefits of cloud computing firsthand. Learn about the advantages of cloud computing for small businesses to decide if it’s right for you.
1. Scale Efficiently
Maybe you don’t want your business to be small forever. The good news is that cloud communications can help you lay the foundation for a bigger business in the future.
Cloud computing is usually billed as a platform as a service (PaaS) or software as a service (SaaS) solution, which means you pay only for the level of service you need. There’s no need to hardwire anything, so if you need to add or remove subscriptions, you can do it with the click of a button.
2. Increase Cost-Effectiveness
Because cloud providers offer cloud access as a subscription, cloud pricing is very flexible. Instead of paying a lot for features you won’t use, you pay for exactly what you need.
Switching to the cloud can help you save money in terms of:
- Sleeker operations: Eliminate expensive, time-consuming processes by moving them to the cloud. This gives you the power to automate certain tasks and take to-dos off of your plate.
- Maintenance: Cloud vendors are responsible for maintaining the cloud for you. You don’t have to worry about servers, networking, or storage — your vendor pays for everything and charges you a modest subscription fee in exchange.
- Hiring: Your small business might not have the resources to hire an internal IT team. But when you opt for a cloud vendor, you don’t need to hire employees to manage your IT, which can save you a lot of money.
3. Strengthen Security
There’s a common misconception that the cloud is less secure than local storage. While the cloud does present different security challenges, you can account for them with the right setup.
In fact, the cloud is often more secure than traditional computing because:
- The cloud is encrypted: Data encryption is standard for cloud computing. If malicious parties try to intercept your information, encryption prevents them from accessing it. Unencrypted traditional computing, on the other hand, can put your information in the wrong hands.
- You can restrict file access: If you want to implement more rigorous security, cloud access management is the way to go. You can restrict which employees or vendors have access to certain files or apps in the cloud with customizable access settings.
- Updates happen automatically: Attackers exploit out-of-date software to steal your information. But with cloud computing, your cloud vendor ensures all of your apps and software are up-to-date. Enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that you always have the best, most secure version of your software.
4. Streamline Remote Work
Not all small businesses can afford an office or a storefront. If you’re a remote company, cloud computing enables your team to work from anywhere. As long as you know your login, you can access your files and software from any location and any device.
Improved remote collaboration is a big advantage of cloud communications. All work is available in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about ferrying a PowerPoint file between your team’s email, where it’s sure to be lost. In the cloud, you can collaborate on work in real time, regardless of your team’s location. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about losing files because everything is stored in one central hub.
5. Plan for a Rainy Day
What would happen to your business if you lost a laptop with all of your client’s work? Or if a ransomware attack deleted all of your customer records?
Don’t let inevitable disasters take your business down. Moving to the cloud makes your information accessible no matter what, so you don’t have to worry about downtime in the wake of a disaster. If there’s a fire and you lose all of your hardware, everything is still available in the cloud.
Most cloud vendors will offer cloud backups on a predetermined schedule. All you need to do is revert back to the most recent backup and continue operations — it’s that easy.
Get an Easy Advantage With Cloud Communications
As a small business owner, you can give yourself a competitive advantage by embracing everything that the cloud has to offer. Traditional computing doesn’t give you the agility or efficiency of the cloud, and the cost savings alone make the cloud a no-brainer for small businesses.
Of course, cost management is still a big deal. If you want to make the most of your resources when you migrate to the cloud, move on now to Dice’s cloud cost management tips for small businesses.