In today’s digital age and a growing remote workforce, moving to the cloud is almost a no-brainer. But what is cloud computing? Simply put, it’s computing based on the internet. Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software on a physical computer or server in their building, using data that’s also housed on that computer or that server, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications and their own data via the internet.
Cloud computing has actually been around for two decades but has grown in popularity over the past five years thanks to our reliance on and increased use of data. In fact, many people don’t realise they are using cloud technology in their everyday lives.
When you’re streaming Netflix, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your bank’s app, that’s via the cloud. Facebook and Instagram – they’re apps that rely on cloud computing technology.
And if you’re a small business, chances are you rely on cloud computing to solve many business challenges, whether you’re firing off emails on the go or using apps to help you manage your workload.
In short, cloud computing is the new normal. Here are 10 reasons why you should move your small business to the cloud.
Cloud computing is your solution to your growing bandwidth demands. With cloud-based services, it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity by drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise if you need to scale down.
This level of flexibility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors by improving their overall operational efficiency.
Losing data can be devastating for a small business. And it’s not just because of the loss of files – there’s also the time and money spent to recover them. According to CloudRadar, the cost of network downtime is more than $10,000 an hour.
For most small businesses, investing in robust data recovery is more of an ideal than a reality. But cloud computing is now helping more SMBs buck that trend. Due to the scale and expertise of cloud-based services, they can provide quick data recovery for all kinds of data disasters – even remotely wiping data from a lost laptop.
One of the great things about cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise, which means a third party takes care of your regular system updates. Adopting the cloud can reduce IT maintenance cost by 16.79% – so your IT team can put budget towards the things that matter, like designing and developing market-differentiating solutions.
Thanks to the rise of the subscription-based business model, small businesses no longer have to outlay large capital for IT soft hardware or storage hardware. You can simply pay as you go. Add to that the ease of set-up and management, and suddenly your intimidating IT project looks a lot friendlier. It has never been easier to take the first step to cloud adoption.
With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection you can be at work. With most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted by which device you’ve got on hand.
And considering there are 3.3 million smartphones users in the world, you don’t want to leave anyone out.
With cloud computing, SMBs can offer more flexible working perks to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance that suits them – without productivity taking a hit. So happy employee, happy bottom line? Gartner thinks so: its study revealed that a company offering remote working attracted higher-skilled workers and increased job satisfaction.
When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help teams make updates in real-time and gives them full visibility of their collaborations.
If you want to connect your employees even further, especially if they work remotely, some cloud-based services even provide collaborative social spaces.
And with a collaborative style of working growing, version control on documents becomes its own issue. In the workplace, nothing can be more frustrating than opening a shared document and coming to the horrible realisation that someone has saved the wrong version.
As even the smallest companies become more spread out geographically, the scope for complication rises. When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone has one source of truth. Which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line.
With data privacy and IT security becoming a bigger conversation following the introduction of the GDPR, small businesses need to match larger companies in securing and respecting customer data and privacy. While most companies of any size don’t like to think about security breaches it’s the reality of the world we live in – especially with 62% of all data breaches caused by malicious or criminal attacks.
Cloud computing gives SMBs greater security and governance over their customers’ data. A cloud-based service provider is responsible for monitoring security 24/7 – something a small business couldn’t practically achieve without third-party support. But with products like the latest iteration of the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, SMBs can collect, govern and protect customer data as effectively as enterprises.
With 75% of customers expecting companies to use new technologies to create better experiences, making the move to the cloud means SMBs can disrupt the market while remaining lean and nimble. And what small business doesn’t want to have a competitive advantage?
While the above points spell out the benefits of cloud computing for your business, moving to the cloud isn’t an entirely selfish act. The environment gets a little love too. When your cloud needs fluctuate, your server capacity scales up and down to fit. So you only use the energy you need and you don’t leave oversized carbon footprints.
At Salesforce we are committed to delivering a sustainable, low-carbon future and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. And with the launch of Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, businesses can quickly track, analyse and report reliable environmental data to help reduce their carbon emissions.
To hear from other local SMB leaders and Trailblazers, register for the Salesforce Live: A&NZ Small Business Trailblazers Episode going live on 21 April.