Small businesses always run into the same problem, just in different forms: not having enough of something. Whether it’s supply, marketing, storage space, or brand awareness, small businesses experience some inherent limitations because they don’t have the resources to overcome those issues.
In recent years, developers have been working on a suite of systems that can benefit small businesses and allow them to survive in an increasingly tech-reliant industry. Things such as direct data services, software-as-a-service companies, and outsourced marketing have become popular options, with certain firms focusing or exclusively catering to small to medium enterprises.
One of the best innovations in this aspect has been making cloud computing more accessible to smaller businesses. This can be very helpful to their operations, and depending on the niche, be a cornerstone of their business or SMEs.
What is the cloud?
The “cloud” refers to the system of devices, information, and systems that operate with the help of the Internet. Data is stored in a central server somewhere around the world, and with an Internet connection and the right credentials, can theoretically be accessed anytime.
This is an improvement over systems that need to be accessed physically from a specific site or device, providing business owners and their employees more ways to interact and engage with their business operations. In theory, any device that can connect to the Web can access the cloud, provided the user is authorized to do so.
The popularity of smartphones, for example, has made the cloud a constant presence in non-commercial applications. Many people keep photos, messages, or other data in the cloud to free up space in their devices or to have critical files always accessible in case of a crisis.
How can this help small businesses?
As mentioned, the cloud can be accessed from anywhere that an Internet connection is available. This is particularly advantageous for small businesses that often don’t have the storage space or the means to access data on-demand. Having a centralized server where everything is stored and accessed can be useful in streamlining company operations.
Another benefit of cloud computing is that collaboration is easier on the Web. Previously, records need to be locked for security and convenience’s sake. With the cloud, it becomes easier to share, implement, and track changes to any type of data in real-time. This is particularly useful for departments that need to work together, such as accounting and product handling.
Of course, adopting a cloud-based system does require a great deal of effort. Learning the software may take some time and training in order for all of your employees to understand it correctly, and the reliance of the server on the Internet means it’s virtually next to useless without an online connection. However, given the rapidly expanding reach of tech and the Internet, these concerns can be avoided.
Small businesses need all the help they can get to grow and keep their pacing. Cloud computing is one of the many tools that they can use to streamline their operations, make their work easier, and earn more profit.