Cloud Computing for Small Business: Is It Right for You?

cloud computing, business cloud computingCompanies are switching away from traditional IT departments in vast numbers. Instead, many of these small and medium-sized businesses are transferring the management of their computer systems and networks to the cloud. Cloud service providers can take care of everything from running your network to providing your employees with the highest-quality software available.

However, cloud computing is not right for all businesses and you should put careful thought into the matter before making a drastic change in your tech policy. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not cloud computing is right for your business:

Does It Make Sense To Have In-House IT Support?

The first question you should ask is whether it not it makes sense for your company to have in-house IT support. For many medium-sized companies, having an IT team makes perfect sense and is a relatively small overall cost. For small businesses though, this is often a costly part of the budget that could be significantly shrunk or eliminated by moving much of your computing and networking needs to the cloud.

Is Rapid Growth Expected?

Are you planning on growing your company in the near future? If a rapid pace of growth is expected, handling your own networking and server operations can mean multiple costly upgrades over the next few years. In this situation, utilizing the power of the cloud is a logical option. The cloud offers access to enough processing power to support your growing business without the steady need to buy new equipment and software. Rather than spending tens (or more) of thousands of dollars modernizing your network and servers, the cloud provides you the ability to pay for the products and services you need allowing for more manageable growth costs.

Would Services Such As SaaS Be A Game-Changer?

One of the hottest features of cloud computing over the past couple of years has been Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS allows cloud partners and developers of high end software to charge monthly for web-based access to their platforms rather than selling the product outright to businesses. Not only does this make software integration much more affordable for small businesses’ budgets, it also allows companies to take advantage of top-notch software that they otherwise would not be able to afford. This gives smaller businesses the tools they need to stay competitive with industry leaders.

How Security Improvements Have Increased The Cloud’s Usefulness

Over the past year, there have been many improvements made to the level of security in the cloud. As more and more businesses are using their services, cloud providers are stepping up their level of security and verification in a number of ways.

  • Encryption Technologies – Encryption technologies have been becoming more and more intricate, making is much more difficult for unwanted users to gain access to your network and data over the cloud. Many times, security      breaches come from inside of a company – not from external sources.
  • Proof Of Compliance – More and more cloud partners are developing in-depth compliance procedures to ensure the safety of stored and transmitted data.  These companies keep their trust contracts and can provide proof of compliance though monitoring platforms which alert to any suspicious activity and retain detailed forensic data.
  • Secure Technologies Are Affordable – Now, more than ever, the secure technologies which make the cloud a safe choice for many businesses are affordable at rates which fit well into the average company’s spending plan.

Cloud technology isn’t right for every organization, but for many it could save tens of thousands of dollars a year. When considering making a change in your IT structure, be sure to consider the specific and precise needs of your business. One thing is for sure – cloud computing is more affordable and secure than it has ever been before.

About the Author

Stefan Loewer works as business consultant and enjoys sharing his knowledge on a wide range of business topics.

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