‘Cloud computing’. It’s a bit of buzzword at the moment. Even if you’re not the most techy you’ll have probably come across the term, such is its growing prominence in the IT industry. Heavyweights such as Microsoft, IBM and Google have and continue to invest millions of dollars into its research and, such is their IT clout, it’ll no doubt be part of your everyday lexicon, soon.
If you’re not the most techy, the term may be shrouded in mystery. Even less clear could be the ways in which it could work to benefit you and your business. For those of you new to the phenomena, here’s a few, amongst of a myriad of benefits that ‘the cloud’ can bring to your business…
It can reduce (software) costs
Software can be expensive, especially if you’re laying out money on programs like MS Office for each individual employee. In the the cloud you’ll find free providers offering a service to rival and in many ways, better, paying alternatives. These allowing users to access business applications and collaborate online. Elsewhere you’ll also find online accountancy providers using cloud software, offering a service that’s not only cheaper than their high street equivalents, but more efficient, too.
Greater flexibility with scalability
Cloud computing provides greater upscaling or downscaling flexibility in the IT side of your business. This is down to the fact that most cloud service providers allow you to alter your existing package to accommodate business needs or possible changes to market conditions. This, in turn, helps support your business growth without requiring the often expensive changes involved in altering existing IT systems.
Easier file Sharing
Cloud computing also makes things easier on the file sharing front, providing users with the ability to mutually access digitally stored information such as documents, videos or computer programs, without the need for a cumbersome work-based desktop. Instead they can do it via their laptop, iPhone or iPad. Concurrently it allows for better collaboration with clients, who can be given access to the files they need and they can get involved while the work is being done.
In many ways cloud computing has worked to level the playing field, making it easier for small businesses to compete with the big. Significant IT costs can be reduced, whilst with increasing business services shifting to the cloud, accountancy and recruitment amongst them, expenses can similarly be decreased in these areas.
Efficiency benefits can also be felt in the day to day running of your business, in that ease of access to business documents is provided via the cloud, files and the like available as and when you need them. To the small business or start-up, moving to the cloud is really a no brainer.