What is the Cloud
The Cloud refers to a centralized location on the Internet that stores data, making it accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.
How can cloud computing help my business
The Cloud benefit’s SME’s by:
Reduced Cost – Using Cloud storage over physical file storage can save a significant amount of money.
Ease of Use – Saving and accessing files on the Cloud is easy, making it an attractive option, even for non-technical small business owners.
Flexibility – As your business grows, your cloud usage can grow and change as your business needs grow and change.
Keep up to date – Instead of having to invest in IT support to keep your file storage system updated and maintained, most applications that use the Cloud automatically update themselves.
However there are also negatives to using the Cloud. One of the biggest issue to consider is the Security of data stored in the Cloud and loss of complete control over that data. There are ways to protect your data to ensure it remains accessible and secure at all times and Cloud providers will be able to help you to maintain security and data integrity.
For many businesses the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Here are some of the ways small businesses can use the Cloud
1. Data Security
You are already aware of the importance of securing up your data with backups so you do not lose everything. The Cloud not only simplifies the process by allowing your data to automatically update as you work, but it also creates copies of your data off-site where it will be safe.
2. Mobile Working
One of the great benefits of technology is the ability for small business owners to create fully functional mobile offices. The Cloud allows you to access and synchronise your data from wherever you are, allowing you to be fully mobile.
3. Information Sharing
The Cloud makes data sharing simple. Sharing files can be as easy as sending a link, much simpler than emailing large files.
4. File Storage
File images and video often take up a significant part of your hard drive space, which can be costly. The Cloud allows you to shift the storage of large files off of your local system, saving local storage for the files you need to access every day.
The Cloud is scalable, so it allows small businesses to create a plan for growth that utilizes the benefits of the Cloud without a significant up-front investment. Start small, andy increase your usage over time, while only paying incrementally for the services and access you need.
6. Staffing Costs
The Cloud reduces the need for an in-house IT staff to manage your technology.