Take any country’s economy, and you can see that small and medium-size enterprise or SMEs are the backbones of it. They create a huge number of job opportunities for the youth and serve as fuel for innovation and growth. Any random multi-billion businesses also had a humble beginning. There are multiple criteria you can use to classify businesses as small, medium, and large. This may include but not be limited just to its capital, but employee count, revenues, and the scale of operations, etc. also play a role in categorizing the business. This is for sure, however, that the small business may have only meager resources.
While thinking of cloud-based solutions, there is a common notion that it is not for small businesses. But in reality, the benefits cloud solutions can offer to a business organization is countless, and not only big enterprises, but even small businesses can also take advantage of the same. In fact, for small businesses, the benefits offered by the cloud can be overwhelming. Before we highlight cloud-based solutions’ small business advantages, let us briefly discuss bout the major types of cloud deployment infrastructures.
Two major types of deployments
Here is a brief overview of the basic types of deployments.
In this mode of deployment, all clients’ data and hardware are stored on a data center exclusive for that particular user. These data servers can ideally be located on the business premises itself. The entity itself remains responsible for the procurement and maintenance of the hardware and software related to the service.
Outsourced cloud deployment
A highly cost-effective alternative to in-house deployment is the mode of outsourcing the data and hardware infrastructure to a third-party Cloud Service Provider (CSP). The data and hardware will be stored at the provider premises to be remotely accessed by the user on choosing this model. The costs related to the procurement and maintenance of the hardware will be the responsibility of CSP.
Considering the benefits versus disadvantages of these two types of deployments, you can find this decision has to be made largely based on your needs and budget. One important consideration to decide between these is also the security preferences of your business. In theory, on-premise deployment is considered to be more secured compared to the shared CSP option. However, when it comes to cost, which is also a critical consideration for small businesses, the latter is the ideal choice to make. So, as FLOSUMexperts advise, the game is to strike a fine balance between them while thinking of cloud-based services.
Small Businesses benefits from using cloud solutions
- Reduced cost
No doubt that the No.1 reason why small businesses can rely on cloud solutions is the cost factor. The cost reduction may slightly vary based on whether you choose the on-premise or outsourced cloud. In the case of on-premise, your major investment is to buy a powerful server machine. But once bought, the IT hardware need not have to be upgraded later, which saves cost in the long run. With on-premise, you can give access to a considerable number of employees at no extra cost.
In the case of outsourced services to a CSP, the server machine and related hardware remain the provider’s responsibility. In this case, the upfront cost is largely reduced, and there is also no need to upgrade the existing systems at your premises. The company can create any number of additional users or scale up the capacity of the server needed at an extra cost at any time. In the case of cloud services, this flexibility will help improve your organization’s productivity as a whole and that of each employee. With cloud solutions, small businesses can also hire contract workers to work from anywhere and enjoy a significant cost reduction.
- Ease of work collaboration
As we know, today’s workforces are largely diversified and physically dispersed. In cloud solutions, the data is stored centrally in the cloud solution, which can be easily accessed through a user-friendly interface from anywhere by authorized users. With this, physical distance is not a problem and will not have any adverse impact on effective collaboration. This is very helpful in complex project management scenarios where the tasks needed to be accomplished by a diverse group of employees.
When you host your data on the cloud, each of the authorized employees can take up the task right from where they are. It is also easy to collaborate when an employee is left, and someone else needs to continue from where they left it. Cloud solutions can thus enhance coordination between the teams, which can be advantageous for small entities with a limited workforce.
- More secured
The best thing lately about cloud solutions is that the data and resources you maintain centrally are more secured than ever before. As it is much convenient administratively to secure everything at a centralized location, the cyber threats are lesser than sporadic data storage at various devices.
Another advantage of using cloud solutions is that even when the individual devices used to log to the cloud devices are crashed, lost, or stole; it does not pose any security threat to the centralized data. However, the cloud users have some security precautions as to changing the passwords every once in a while and using a good firewall to protect from potential security threats.
- More efficient and flexible
Whether you choose for cloud hosting in-house or outsourced, the servers need to store your data and assets centrally, ensuring more efficiency in your operations. All the productivity-related software and app run on the cloud network, which ensures productivity even when the devices used by the small business employees become obsolete.
Also, as we discussed, cloud solutions are much more flexible from a small business perspective. Being largely scalable, even as the company hires more workforce, there is no need to purchase additional technical infrastructure like computers and servers to manage your data volume. Being on the cloud, you need to scale up your cloud utility and create additional user logins for each new employee to access your operational processes.
To conclude, there is a wide range of cloud solutions aiming at providing the best benefits to small businesses. It would help if you did thorough research to identify the most comfortable and customizable solution for your business to rely on.