Updated: Feb 3, 2021
There are three main types of cloud services that companies use. In this post by SPOPLI Web Development & Services, we look at those types coupled with what benefits small businesses stand to benefit from cloud-computing.
Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS essentially replaces physical in-house web servers and offers virtual machines and servers. It aims to help businesses use varying virtual configurations to handle all kinds of workload requirements. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are two leading players in this field.
Platform as a service
Software as a service
SaaS is a software-over-the-internet form of solution. You can access the software via computers and also mobile devices that have internet access. The idea is to enable collaborative projects, allow working on computer programs, and download work files. Google Workspace and Microsoft Office are typical examples of SaaS applications.
Reasons How Cloud Computing Benefits Small Business
Contrary to what one might think, a cloud platform is a highly secure and safe way to store your business data and perform myriad operations. Having your own physical data server can be a huge pain. You have to worry about encryption, safety, maintenance, running constant updates, and also monitoring network traffic.
With cloud technology, you can leave all that to the service provider thus freeing yourself from these responsibilities. On top of that, you don't have to funnel a ton of money on data storage and security. You can rely on cloud computing for protecting your data.
Better Flexibility and Easy Collaboration
Small businesses often grow at a steady pace which can translate to ever-growing bandwidth needs. Cloud technologies make it incredibly easy to scale-up your requirements and capacity by deploying additional remote services as your demands increase. At the same time, you can also scale it down.
In the end, this kind of flexibility translates into added operational efficiency.
Most small businesses are striving for growth. They are not trying to remain small forever. However, if a business grows too fast too quickly, it can impact the infrastructure negatively. This can make it difficult to keep up with business and customer demand. Additionally, having the right hires can also be difficult.
With cloud solutions, you can keep up with your growth pace instead of worrying about things going out of control. They can solve your needs today and get things done as the need arises.
Less risk for a worst-case scenario and better resilience
Most small businesses are focused only on growth. They are not much concerned about what to do in case of a crisis or disaster. It’s understandable because as a small business just staying afloat can take up all your time. Worrying about anything else may seem like a waste of time; although it's highly necessary. So, when you do move to a cloud-based solution, you get access to tools that remove redundancies should you ever lose your key data/functions.
With cloud services, your team can perform key services; regardless of where they are working from. As a small business, you will always have a plan to put into action in the face of a disaster or unforeseen crisis.
Reduced IT/Business Costs
Regardless of your business’s size, you can always find it useful to enjoy cost-reduction in the form of less spendings on IT resources, computer equipment, software, etc. Cloud-computing comes with benefits like access to a suite of useful applications, programs, and tools which a small business may otherwise never be able to afford.
All of these benefits coupled with less cost of transitioning to cloud technologies make it worth a while for small businesses to explore cloud computing.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Downtimes are never good; especially for a small business. It translates to lost productivity and a waste of money. The good news is, by operating off of a cloud-based computing model, you get to enjoy peace of mind when disaster hits you.
Even if your physical office is destroyed by a tornado, you can still remain assured that all your data files will still be intact and accessible on a remote, third-party cloud server. That means, no setbacks or loss of data. This sense of resilience is something to think about as a small business owner.
Big data analytics
More and more companies are now focusing on deploying user-friendly data analytics interfaces; thus bypassing the huge costs that come with the analysis of huge lots of information. HPCC and Hadoop are two open-source platforms that deploy cloud-based computing to do all the heavy-lifting that comes with big data analysis.
For this purpose, you will need about 500 Mbps for cloud-based computing needs. For small businesses, having this type of fast internet access may not always be possible with limited server and hardware capacity. But, cloud-computing eliminates this restriction.
It’s evident that cloud computing has myriad benefits to offer; particularly to small businesses. There’s no reason why any small business owner should not opt for it. In a way, cloud-computing has leveled the field for smaller establishments and given them a chance to establish a strong footing in the global market while competing with market giants.