One of the key reasons why many small businesses fail is the ability to generate cash flow on a consistent basis. Predictable cash flow is the result of smoothing spikes in a business, making sure your IT is reliable and your ability to bump in more resources when required with minimum impact on the budget.
It is simple now, compared to the days where you have to purchase hardware, software, figure out licenses and pay IT people to build systems for your business. The minimum requirement is to have a backup and roll-back systems in case it errors out.
A large-scale organization can afford this with all the resources and IT staff working behind 24X7. But for a small-scale business it is not practical to spend this amount of resources and money, more over it doesn’t make business sense to spend money in establishing these infrastructure when cloud can do it for a fraction of cost. A better use of the capital would be spent on generating new leads.
By moving to cloud your IT systems are ready, almost the day you decide to have business in cloud. Your team will no longer be restricted by geography, you can a hire a virtual assistant anywhere and give access to your cloud environment.
Having a disaster recovery plan in place ensures business continuity in case of a disaster that destroys IT equipment, business data or any other loss to property directly or indirectly causing hindrance to every day business. Proper disaster recovery plan includes, backups, alternative power sources and distributing data centres geographically.
If you plan to have a disaster recovery and reliable IT services on your own, the costs would probably blow away. You could obtain the same level of reliable IT services and a disaster recovery of a large enterprise at a fraction of cost.
Speed and Convenience
It’s like driving a car, where the business has the throttle to bump up resources in case if you need faster responsive software.
Your need for more storage grow with time. Cloud storage offers you unlimited storage solution, giving you the option for flexible storage capacity, starting from as little as few gigabytes to running into terabytes.
This storage is elastic, you can not only increase your storage but reduce it reflecting your business needs.
Moving Your Office
Most of the small businesses start by renting small office space, as you grow the need for more staff and more space increases. Advantage of having cloud computing for your business is, irrespective of how/when you plan to move your office to a new location, it will have zero down time on your IT.
One of the advantage of moving to cloud and that’s rarely spoken about is the reduced carbon foot print that it has on our environment. For instance, iCloud apple’s cloud storage solution runs on 100% green energy, they have established their own solar and wind energy farms, by moving into their cloud your business is having less carbon footprint on the environment.
Hiring a smart database administrator or network engineer could cost you thousands of dollars. The advantage with cloud computing is your hardware and software services are maintained by highly skilled technical experts with fraction of cost.
As a small business you are at an advantageous position of not being eyed by hackers and hijackers. Cloud computers are maintained with at most identity and data security. Even though these cloud servers are hackable just like any other servers, the benefits of moving to cloud outweigh the concerns.
More over even if you move them to your local environment, you need to shed thousands of dollars every month to secure and update them with latest patches.
Best Patterns and Practices
If you have your own custom applications that are used by business, structuring data around these applications is a natural process. For instance on a day-to-day basis in my job I look at quality of coding that’s been done to customize applications compared to the ones hosted on Cloud. There is significant quality difference between these two environments just because developers can get away with any cowboy coding for a non-cloud hosted application.
Cloud environment has much higher restriction enforcing applications to follow better patterns and practices of development. As a business you benefit greatly from this, as your IT staff are indirectly enforced to follow best practices for development.
There are many advantages that I can think of moving to cloud computing, especially if you are a small business but there are also other concerns that have been raised over a period of time like data security and privacy, issues from hackers, cloud support so on and so forth.
I think the pros of going to cloud computing as a small business outweigh cons by heaps and bound.