The number of small businesses using cloud services will reach 80% by 2020, according to Inc. Magazine. It’s clear this method of handling IT functions has major benefits, even for the little guy.
Benefits of the Cloud
With cloud computing, you no longer have to hire an IT department, try to figure it out yourself, or convince your office manager to add this to her list of chores. Right away, you are saving money.
With a small business cloud strategy, your company will also show major gains in efficiency. It eliminates the need for installing and updating software. Everyone who can get on the internet has access to the same information at the same time. This means fewer mistakes and fewer missed deadlines.
The Software as a Service, or SaaS, companies have the staff, the expertise and the infrastructure to handle tedious, routine and complicated tasks for you. For example, you can hire a cloud-based payroll service to handle this burdensome chore. They can take over filling out related government documents. It saves time, storage and staff, plus the work is done by experts.
You can hire remote workers and freelancers and stay in touch easily. With project management SaaS, everyone, wherever they are, can check progress, figure out what tasks they need to complete and collaborate with ease.
Steps to Starting a Cloud Strategy
The first step for your small business is to research what is available in the way of services. The range is rapidly increasing. Do you want payroll handled by others? Storage and backup? How about project management? These are three of the major cloud services that small businesses start with.
The next step in your small business cloud strategy is to find a provider. The best way to do this is ask others in your business network and discuss it at industry events and trade shows. Read online reviews and check recommendations by small business experts and bloggers with authority in your niche.
Then decide what you need to look for in a provider so you can ask specific questions. What you require in a provider depends on what you will outsource to the SaaS. If you have more complicated needs and will be using Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service, you need to find providers with the right capability.
It can help to hire a consultant to help you pinpoint your needs, where cloud can really help and where it is unnecessary. He has the experience to locate providers that meet your precise needs. This can be a major time saver for the small business owner. It can also save money by helping you find the right provider for the right services, without costly trial and error.
Don’t bumble into the cloud. Sit down and read up on what is available. Do your research. Develop a clear business opportunity cloud strategy to take the best advantage of this revolution in computing.
SOURCE: Inc. Magazine