For businesses, using the cloud offers cost savings, the ability to upgrade quickly and flexibility. (Bigstock)
Most people are familiar with “the cloud” in terms of everyday use — it’s where we store family photos, documents and work files, among other things.
But in reality, the cloud is so much more.
For businesses, using the cloud for data storage (and other services like phones and cameras) goes beyond just having a place to store files. It offers cost savings, the ability to upgrade quickly when growth occurs, and provides an overall sense of flexibility as your business needs change.
Here are some of the key reasons businesses that are not yet using the cloud in some form should consider it:
Ease of launch
A new company that wants to grow must be focused on limiting overhead costs wherever possible.
Advancements in cloud technology in recent years make company growth a very realistic goal. Instead of ordering an expansive network of costly equipment, setting up data storage in the cloud can be done immediately.
Business owners can spend less time worrying about setting up infrastructure (servers, databases, etc.) and physical space requirements, and can instead focus on their mission and products.
With cloud-based services, you can access key information from any computer, at any time. This is a key component of why these services continue to become the norm.
Among employees, using the cloud allows for increased collaboration because multiple staff members can access and work from a master document. Documents and other files can also be locked out from certain users if you don’t want everyone to have the same access.
Many cloud services
One thing many businesses don’t realize is that cloud services are not just a one-trick pony. Many services can be handled more efficiently via the cloud — everything from phone systems, to security components like badging and cameras, and even email.
Moving these additional services to the cloud allows them all to be monitored and controlled more predictably, and makes them more scalable as needs change.
Room to grow
In any industry, speed and the ability to adapt are critical. When working in the cloud, a boost in storage space is accessible in minutes, without any hassle. Growing businesses need that flexibility.
Cloud-hosted servers, with appropriately high levels of security, are helpful to businesses in the pocketbook, minimizing real-world IT requirements. Many hardware costs are eliminated, and less staff is needed to maintain physical equipment. A business’ upfront investment is much lower than traditional methods, and the lack of infrastructure also makes you more mobile.
Many business owners remain fearful that data stored in the cloud could be lost or stolen, especially key information and proprietary data. Thankfully, backing up your cloud-based data is also very easy and affordable, so the cost of using the cloud vs. traditional methods remains affordable even with this additional step.
Many businesses choose both traditional data storage methods and cloud support, as a measure of redundancy. It all depends on your level of comfort with the technology.
But one thing is certain — cloud-based services should definitely be in the mix if you want your business to be agile and able to adapt more quickly to changing IT infrastructure needs.
Kelly Siegel is CEO of National Technology Management in Bingham Farms. NTM can be reached at 248-658-0829, and Siegel can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.