small-businesses-please-dont-take-the-cloud-for-grantedIf you’re an entrepreneur or operating a business of any kind, there’s a few things you should never take for granted, some of which are fairly standard and obvious, such as the power of cash on hand, your network, and good customer service. While cloud services are something that larger businesses have learned to take advantage of in recent years, there’s still an overwhelming number of small businesses that aren’t utilizing its benefits. If you’re not on the cloud, you’re neglecting a service that not only streamlines your business operations, but also reduces capital expenditures and improves your overall technological adaptability.

Sometimes, business owners get locked into a very specific way of doing things. Maybe you’re not realizing the importance of using cloud services? It’s not just about storage; in fact, there’s an entire application-based cloud marketplace, which streamlines services so you don’t have to waste time and money building a multi-sided platform from the ground up. The cloud is a game changer, but you need to get on board now to contend with your competitors.

Safety and the Cloud

Are you shying from cloud services because you’re not sure they’re safe? The truth is your information isn’t safe on your local network either, if it’s left unencrypted. Anyone can access it; anyone can steal it. Just like your private network, your cloud data should be fully encrypted and password protected, and your password should be a random string of letters, numbers, and symbols to ensure absolute security.

When it comes to the cloud and security, it’s all about who is providing the service. If you’ve got a lot of sensitive data you need secured, then you want to make sure that you’re using a cloud provider that ensures your privacy in some sort of contractual agreement. These provisions make the cloud provider liable for damages or data leaks, which gives them more incentive to protect your data.

The Cloud Streamlines Your Operations

Using the cloud to store information is great because it means that you’re not saddled by hard-copy records. Additionally, you can access your data from anywhere in the world and that data can be downloaded to devices and computers, which is great if there’s ever hard-drive loss and you need to quickly backup your system to get operational again. This is great for your bottom line; it reduces capital expenditures because you have less overhead, reduced operating costs, and you can hire remote temporary employees during peak business times.

There are three types of clouds: public clouds, private clouds, and a hybrid of the two. Most businesses choose a hybrid because it allows them to focus on security for internal data while still offering public data for their customers to consume; for example, a company’s website would be put on the public cloud, but customer information would be encrypted on a private cloud.

The Cloud Keeps You Competitive

Applications function both on the public and private cloud too; it’s these applications that keep your business competitive because they’re high-functioning and have a high degree of technological adaptability (meaning, they can grow with your business and integrate new technologies). Moreover, these applications reduce operating costs because they’re on a cloud-based delivery platform not physically built by staffed engineers.

Examples of these cloud-based applications include:

  • Ecommerce listings
  • Ratings and review systems
  • Recommendations engines
  • Product profiles
  • Identity and access management
  • Subscription billing and payment management
  • Social enterprise networking

And, a lot more

Running a business is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. The cloud solves issues, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of its services? The most important thing is that you outperform your competitors, and the cloud can help you do this in a timely and efficient manner. If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace the advantages of the cloud.