It’s not possible to do business in the U.S. and not have at least heard of cloud computing. In fact, the research company Forrester says that almost 60% of businesses were operating in the cloud by the second half of 2018. Smaller businesses may feel like big cloud applications are for enterprise level companies – but they couldn’t be more wrong. There are plenty of reasons why cloud computing is even more important for small businesses.
So do you really need to adopt the cloud? Yes, you almost certainly do, and here’s why.
For years, people bought computer programs on discs, then CDs, then digital downloads with software keys. It was the only way to get the necessary software onto your computer. In businesses, companies had to use a certain number of licenses to ensure that all of their computers could be logged in accordingly. It all got expensive, and the expense led to businesses not wanting to upgrade their software, even when it was obviously necessary.
The cloud changes that. With cloud-based programs, companies generally pay a monthly or annual subscription fee, which gives them access, updates, a certain level of security and data backup, and some customer service. Instead of huge capital expenditures, businesses have a small, affordable bill each month or year.
Another problem with the old way of distributing computer software is that by the time the software reached your desk, it was already out of date. This is why so many programs, once they were installed, needed to immediately be patched and updated.
With cloud-based software, the updates happen on the cloud end of the software. These updates happen seamlessly in the background, without disturbing your workflow. This lets cloud applications stay safe, secure, and easy to use.
For a long time, one of the big concerns about cloud computing was whether it was safe. There were big, high profile hacks that made it seem like once something was in the cloud, you were basically putting it on a city billboard. But cloud security has come a long way. Service companies know that if they want to maintain the trust and loyalty of their customers, they need to use encryption, access protection, and more.
Cloud-based security is also a huge boon for on-site IT staff. One common concern for IT teams is whether everyone has applied the necessary updates to their computers, or if they’ve opened an unsafe email. With cloud computing, this is less of a problem. Although it is definitely possible for a virus to travel from an on-site computer or device into the cloud app, there are more layers of protection than an internal firewall can provide.
Today’s workforce is a distributed workforce. Companies allow for remote work, recruit freelancers around the world, and have offices in a dozen countries. With cloud-based applications, workers can log in anywhere that they have internet access. Their work can be done at home, in the office, on the road, or at the local library – whatever needs to happen. They just need a device that has strong enough hardware to access cloud applications.
Cloud applications and cloud computing have changed the way the world does business. The digital cloud is only expected to grow as we move forward. Companies need to accept cloud computing as the next evolution of technology and adapt. Legacy programs can often be moved into the cloud, or replacements can be found – but no company wants to be scrambling at the last minute to stay competitive. If you’re not sure how cloud computing can make a difference to your business, reach out to an expert and learn more.