Ok, so you are an SME or start-up and you would like to manage your business functionality in the best way possible and you are considering moving to the cloud. Or you are using cloud computing for some areas of your business and would like to consider using it for others. So what do you need to think about? Sometimes its good to go back to the drawing board and work out strategically how this will help your business.
To put it in simple terms cloud computing is computing based on the internet. Rather than download software on a physical computer or server, cloud computing enables you to have the same access to those applications, using the internet. Cloud computing is becoming the new normal for most businesses. Without realizing it many of us are using cloud applications in the course of our every day lives – upating our Facebook status, using a mobile app and others.
So what are the key advantages?
Pay as you go
Cloud computing cuts the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that works well with to help balance your cash flow.
Collaboration with colleagues
One of the key features of cloud computing is the ability of your team to access all the information they need anytime and anywhere, as long as they are connected to the internet. File sharing and cloud-based workflow enables you to make updates in real-time that can be shared with your colleagues no matter where they are situated.
Work from anywhere
Once you have an internet connection you can work using your cloud computing tools. Cloud computing works across all devices including desktop, tablets and mobile enabling you to work collaboratively whether you are at home, in your office or in transit.
Most of all, cloud computing is managing your documentation and your work processes. Rather than sending back emails back and forward to people with attached documents and risk loosing control of a thread, all your documentation is stored in one place where all your team can access it. There is thus a central place where the real picture of what is going on in your business can be accessed. Clearly this streamlining of the workflow creates less error and most importantly gives you the control of your business that you need as it continues to grow.
Cloud computing adds a strong level of security to your information management. Before the cloud, risk of data loss or theft was high. Because the data is now stored in the cloud rather than on a local machine, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine.
Be in with the competition
It is often hard for the smaller business to compete with the bigger players on the market. A distinct advantage of cloud computing is that it allows the smaller players compete in the same space. The subscription based models and cloud business applications mean that the smaller companies can innovate in a lean and efficient manner thus driving their competitive niche in the market.
Its important to research your options and make sure that your cloud provider will work for your business and more importantly for your business strategy.