Has your company considered the cloud? Small businesses from all sectors are seeing the benefits of implementing cloud technology—which means storing data remotely and accessing it through the internet, instead of storing in your local office computer. From allowing extra mobility, securing important documents and streamlining collaboration, cloud computing is an increasingly popular way of doing business for many operations.
In a recent USA Today article, writer and lawyer Steve Strauss helps small business owners consider the three main ways upgrading to cloud technology can benefit their companies.
If you want to keep your business competitive, “adopting some of the powerful, designed-specifically-for-small business cloud-based tools available today is the smart way to go,” Strauss says.
He cites Garner Foods, a company that’s been in business for nearly a century, as a successful adopter of cloud-computing technology. With 116 employees scattered in offices across multiple continents, upgrading to the cloud broke down barriers and allowed the company to be more agile.
Strauss says the benefits Garner Foods found, and that many other companies that upgrade will enjoy, include:
1. Increased Mobility
“Employees today expect to be able to work when and where they want, and that can only happen if your business is in the cloud,” Strauss says.
Cloud computing enables employees to work remotely, giving them the freedom to work at their convenience. Whether they log on from home or in a hotel room thousands of miles from their office, they can stay connected and access the latest files they need to stay productive. This means your store manager can work on staff schedules while at a conference or your buyer can check on purchase orders when they’re meeting with distributors.
2. Additional Security
According to Catherine Boeger, general manager of Microsoft’s 365 Business suite, 72 percent of all cyber threats are aimed at small businesses. By transitioning to cloud technology, you can help increase security at your operation by allowing data encryption and other security features.
The cloud can also protect against common computing snafus like spilling water on your laptop or losing hardware altogether. When information is backed up to the cloud, it’s accessible with any of your devices and is safe from human error or emergency situations like severe weather and theft.
Protecting your operation’s data is crucial to your success as a small business, and cloud computing can be a strong solution.
3. Effective Collaboration
Cloud computing allows employees to collaborate more effectively than ever. It enables employees to view documents simultaneously and in real time, seeing the changes their co-workers make as they’re happening, even if the co-workers are miles from one another. Your business’s cloud can be accessed by anyone you allow on any device they choose to use, which can help streamline communication.
If you run a multistore operation, keeping your data in the cloud can be a great way for store managers and company leaders to collaborate on the same document, instead of passing around multiple versions of one spreadsheet with the quarter’s sales numbers.
Strauss notes that maybe the most important benefit of cloud computing is the fact that it allows business owners to focus on running a successful operation. By implementing cloud technology, they can spend less time on minor issues and devote more time to steering their operation toward success.