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Cloud computing can be beneficial for small businesses, and we discuss how companies use cloud computing in this article.
However, first, let us talk about what is a small business?
- Why small business need cloud computing
- How can cloud computing help a small business?
- We’ll be discussing all the topics in detail.
A small business is a sole proprietorship with a few numbers of employees working for it and has an annual income less than a regular-sized business company.
A home based business is also a type of small business, in which you run and operate the company from your house.
Most such small businesses use a small business server which are low-end servers designed for managing small businesses and are generally very cheap and affordable.
They are suitable for a small number of employees and come with a few pre-installed applications.
Such small companies often use software explicitly designed to help them run their operations cheaper, better, and reduce paper processes; such software is called small business software.
Cloud is a centralized place on the Internet that contains all your data, and you can access it anytime and anywhere from any device. Cloud computing is an on-demand infrastructure available for data storage and computing power. It consists of data centers available to users all over the world.
Cloud computing consists of almost more than one-third of all the IT infrastructure, according to research by ICD. An analyst even predicts that by 2021, more than half of the businesses worldwide are using cloud computing.
The global spending on cloud computing is predicted 280 billion USD by next year.
Types of cloud storage business may use:
Public cloud – This is an off-site cloud service within a shared infrastructure and includes security and maintenance of your cloud storage managed by a third party, that is specialized in providing cloud computing service to a large number of customers.
Private cloud – This is an on-site cloud service built within the walls of your company and requires an in house IT staff and is useful for businesses that want exclusive access with greater control over their cloud services.
Hybrid cloud – Its a combination of both the private and public cloud and is perfect for a company that wants to manage business-related files on-site but store the less sensitive data on a public cloud.
Types of cloud computing services :
Infrastructure as a Service – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing service where the provider hosts the infrastructure on a remote location instead of having it on-site, which includes servers, the storage, and the networking hardware.
Platform as a Service -Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a form of cloud computing service where the service provider delivers both the hardware and the software required by the user which may be needed for the application development. Platform as a Service helps the user save money by not having an in house hardware and software to develop and run an application.
Software as a service – Software as a Service (SaaS) is a form of cloud computing service where the provider gives the user network-based access to an application created specifically for a SaaS distributor. The data will be stored locally, remotely, or both locally and in the cloud.
What is cloud computing used?
Cloud storage – used for storing files that require regular access to the data all the time across devices
Cloud backup – used or storing files that are not required daily, only needed as a backup option in case of a crash, cyber attack, or data loss.
Software as a service (SaaS) – It used as a service that works on the web as an independent application such as Google Apps, Office 365, Salesforce.
Cloud hosting – used as a web-based system that allows all types of information sharing like email services, application hosting, data storage
Uses of cloud computing in business
Helps reduce cost – Cloud computing helps small businesses reduce cost by storing the data in the cloud for very cheap instead of buying expensive hardware and storing it on-site, which costs a large amount of money.
Easy to use – Cloud storage is very easily accessible, and non-technical people can learn to use it very quickly, making it a viable option for all types of users.
Scalable– Cloud computing is very Scalable, you can upgrade or downgrade within a few clicks and therefore makes it very useful for small businesses that are continually growing, and there needs changing.
Automation – Automation is a vital part of computer infrastructure, it helps you keep your file storage system up to date and maintained automatically, and you don’t have to worry about doing it manually.
How cloud computing helps small business?
Data backup – It is essential to make a backup copy of your data every once in a while just in case the primary data gets deleted, for both big and small businesses.
Using cloud computing not only makes it simpler to automate the process but also helps make an off-site copy of data which is safe from any local natural disaster or theft of data or any malfunctioning.
Mobility – Cloud computing allows small business owners to work from anywhere, anytime, by giving them a fully functioning mobile office. Cloud computing enables users to access and sync their data from wherever they are, therefore allowing them to work from anywhere, thus increasing the mobility for the users.
Sharing data information – Whether you have an on-site staff working for you, or team spread across the world, cloud storage makes data sharing very easy and straightforward for even the non-technical people. Once the data is backed up on the cloud storage, you can share the files by sending a link to the file to your staff.
Storage – Small businesses often use an image, video, and audio files to help with digital marketing for their business, and these files usually take up a large portion of the hard drive space. However, by moving to cloud storage, you can store the larger files on a remote server, and save up on your local disk space.
Growth planning – Cloud computing is scalable and allows small business to create a growth plan with meagre investment as you can increase your services over time. Cloud also has various self-managed apps and automating stuff can help you reduce the need for in house IT staff and save up some money.
There are a few drawbacks of cloud computing, such as security of data. However, you can make sure that your data is protected at all times by encrypting it. If you want to reduce your cost without compromising your ability to do business, then you should start using cloud storage and make your life much more comfortable.
Cost of cloud computing
The cost of cloud computing for small business is much less than the cost of a small business server and generally varies from the type of service you need. A file hosting service with advanced features could cost you $20 per user per month.
However, the idea of comparing the cloud computing services to any traditional service is naive; the cost for cloud computing depends on the type of service you want to use for your business.
AWS, a cloud computing service by Amazon and Google Cloud, a cloud computing service by Google, is the most used cloud computing services and generally, have software and hardware for all your needs.
Cloud computing helps reduce cost, is easy to use, very flexible, and allows automation. Cloud computing for small business is advantageous, and most of the times, a better option compared to having your on-site computing infrastructure.
By opting in for the cloud computing services, you can rent access to all the computing power and storage you will ever need for a low cost and expand as your business grows. Cloud Computing Is Helping Small Business, and you should start using it and make your life easier and efficient.
Please leave your comment, with your experience with using cloud computing and how has it helped you with your business and don’t forget to share it with others and let them know about cloud computing and how useful it can be for small business.