5 Ways SMBs Benefit from Embracing the Cloud

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    Moving to the Public Cloud: Six Steps for Success

    Small Biz Technology recently declared “Netflix Got Rid of Its Servers. When Will You? Cloud Rules. Servers Don’t.” And it’s true. Besides getting rid of on-premise servers, the cloud is a good choice for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) for many reasons.

    Number one, choosing cloud options can save SMBs money. Growing businesses can invest in desktop cloud services, which allows them to add users as the company grows. In much the same vein, putting data in the cloud allows for scalability as a company’s data needs expand, but it also contributes to savings on power and hardware purchases. And if you opt for managed services through a cloud provider, you won’t need to pay for as many members of IT staff to manage it all.

    As reported by Business2Community, data security is another reason SMBs turn to the cloud.

    Cloud Services Providers (CSPs) help IT in SMBs by delivering some of the highly expensive security infrastructure without the responsibility to manage and maintain this layer.

    This includes security technologies such as data encryption, data backup, intrusion detection, network monitoring and software and hardware updates and patches.

    Another big-enterprise plan that is becoming more necessary for SMBs is for disaster recovery and business continuity. When relying on a cloud provider, SMBs benefit from data stored offsite, which makes it available online from an outside location. Cloud providers also rely on their own forms of redundancy, which means data will still be available if equipment goes down or if one Internet provider has problems. Not to mention, depending on the disaster recovery approach, data recovery after deletion or other such problems can be fast and easy.

    Corvisa, a cloud communications company, also reminds that cloud providers work with many types of businesses and not just SMBs. So, many of them are often already structured to comply with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI and other standards and can help ensure that you’re always up-to-date:

    In addition, cloud-based applications can often provide a more rapid rollout of new features that address regulatory standards, while ensuring conformity across multiple locations. These built-in measures help SMBs meet the requirements they need while cutting down on the amount of compliance support measures they need to implement on their end.

    Shop around and ask questions to see if a cloud service provider can help bring your business into the cloud while meeting those requirements.

    Lastly, CBR Online says that the adoption of cloud services by SMBs is helping to provide employee flexibility. Staff can work from home or work from just about anywhere. Having data available in the cloud provides salespeople or field workers with a secure way to access company data for meetings, when traveling or on business calls. The cloud also allows for digital flexibility inside the office—collaboration happens anywhere. Employees can pull up a chair and share data across tablets, PCs and laptops without the need for printouts or wasted notepads. This saves not only time, but also money.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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