Cloud computing is a big buzzword used by many businesses. In reality, more and more businesses across the country are moving parts – or most – of their operations to the cloud. The healthcare industry is actively promoting the use of cloud-based medical imaging and electronic medical records. The financial market has been utilizing cloud computing for a lot of things. The latest trend, however, is small businesses taking their business workflows to the cloud.
Remote Working and Collaborations
Cloud computing is more affordable than ever and the available solutions are very easy to implement. A few years ago, only large corporations could use unified communications solutions from brands like Cisco. The solutions were just too expensive for smaller businesses and startups, especially those with only a handful of employees.
Today, however, the same solutions are available as services. SaaS-oriented companies like KBZ are making it possible for small businesses to ‘rent’ a comprehensive business communications solutions instead of paying for one in full. The monthly charge includes access to a reliable cloud solution such as ZCloud and a suitable unified messaging and communications system based on the small business’s needs and requirements.
As a result, more workers now have the ability to work remotely and still be very productive. In fact, recent studies suggest that employees who don’t have to commute to work are up to 60% more productive and can handle more challenges effectively. The energy that is usually spent on dealing with traffic and other issues associated with commuting can now be used to handle more important tasks.
Better Security and Redundancies
It is also interesting to note that cloud computing is more secure than ever. We still see cases of information theft, but look closer and you will find human error to be the main cause in most of these cases. The infrastructure itself is far more secure than before, especially with higher encryption technology and better security measures being put in place.
Cloud computing utilizes multiple physical hardware to form a cluster. This means the cloud itself has multiple redundancies by nature, allowing businesses to survive catastrophic server failures without losing valuable information or even skipping a beat. Data can be restored from off-site backups in just a few minutes and operations can resume without a problem.
The presence of multiple redundancies is particularly important for smaller businesses. Larger companies have the resources to store hardcopies and multiple backups on-site; this is often not the case with smaller businesses. With limited office space for storing documents and maintaining a large archive, going digital is the only cost-effective solution for having multiple redundancies.
Catastrophic errors can also be avoided easily when most parts of the business are in the cloud. Power outages no longer pose a threat to the soundness of stored data. Even theft or other more mundane problems that often happen in real life will not be able to disrupt the operations of the business itself.
Faster Decisions and Better Competitiveness
Since everything can be accessed from the cloud, small businesses can compete better on the market through the ability to make critical decisions very quickly. Let’s say you attend a sales meeting and you need to quickly propose a quotation to the client based on the latest requests. It is easy to simply pull a template from the cloud, edit it on the fly, make sure everyone in the sales team is comfortable with the terms and quickly send the generated quote to the client digitally.
The same can be said for other parts of the business too. Customer information stored in the cloud can allow support or sales officers to know more about a customer they’re dealing with in real-time while doing a visit or taking a phone call. A much more personalized experience can be delivered this way; we all know how important customer experience is these days.
More importantly, critical decisions about budget and finance can be made with the help of cloud computing, even when key decision makers are not present at the office. As a business owner, the available solutions give you that extra freedom to travel, engage clients directly and perform other duties outside of the office without losing control over day-to-day management tasks.
All of these utilizations of cloud computing are becoming the hottest trends among smaller businesses. There are plenty of advantages to be gained from using the right cloud solution, so take that first step and start moving your small business to the cloud to enjoy them.