For many small businesses, it’s no longer a question of if they will move to the cloud, but when. So why are so many businesses embracing cloud software?
Here’s eight ways your business can benefit:
1. Work anywhere, at any time
The number of remote workers is estimated to be 1.3 billion and rising. We’re seeing a radical shift in the way people work as they integrate their work and personal lives. Cloud computing is fuelling and facilitating this change. It lets you work anywhere, at any time and still stay in touch and up-to-date with your team and your business.
2. Reduce hardware costs and scale easily
Building IT systems in-house means a big capital spend on hardware, high energy bills and the need for technical support and floor space. Cloud software requires no hardware, just an internet connection. As you’re no longer reliant on hardware, it’s easier to expand your IT at the rate your business requires, with no lag or investment risk.
3. Become location agnostic
No on-premise hardware means no geographic restrictions for your business. This can increase your potential customer base and dramatically reduce operational costs. Cloud computing also enables real-time collaboration and messaging, so some small businesses can even go office-free, further cutting overheads.
We’ve come to expect intuitive, one-click functionality from technology in our personal lives, and business applications know they must provide the same experience. Most business cloud applications are built to look and function like common consumer services and sites, which means training for these tools is minimal.
5. Easily stay compliant
All businesses are subject to various forms of compliance, whether related to data protection, employment law or tax. Regular changes in legislation make it hard to stay up-to-date and often impose painful changes in work practices.
With cloud computing, any changes required by law are built into the software in real time by the service provider, so they are ready to use next time you log into the application. It’s one less thing to worry about.
6. Fix glitches quickly
With a traditional software licence, you must usually wait a year for any upgrades or fixes. When the new version is released you have to pay for it, go through the pain of installing it and learn what’s new.
When you log on to a cloud application, you are always accessing the most up-to-date version of that software. This means service providers are constantly able to improve and upgrade it, and you don’t have to do a thing.
7. The freedom to change
Most cloud services require no installation or capital outlay. This means if a service is no longer right for your business, or you want to try something new, you can simply cancel your subscription and move elsewhere.
Cloud gives you the flexibility to always do what’s best for your business and beta test new ways of working. It also means service providers know they must work harder to keep your business, so you benefit from better service.
8. Gain access to the unimaginable
As little as five or 10 years ago, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, project management tools, shared data and synchronised accounting applications were well out of the reach of small businesses.
Now there’s a cloud application for almost every business function. Small businesses have access to the kind of functionality that allows them to realistically compete with larger competitors and build their businesses better.