The cloud or managed cloud services, used to be such an obscure concept. After all, it was difficult to imagine an intangible, centralized location on the internet (or in the sky?) that stores data and hosts business processes. But recent years have proved the numerous benefits of moving your business to the cloud and that’s the focus of our discussion today.
Today’s companies have to stay nimble as conditions shift and business needs fluctuate. Can you justify new hardware expenses to keep up? Is your business geared up to survive a manmade or natural disaster? Do you feel vulnerable to the cyber threats out there? This changeable forecast calls for moving to the cloud.
The Cloud Knows All Your Business (And Here’s Why That’s OK)
Today, almost all big corporations and multinational companies transact their business processes over the cloud. Moving to the cloud makes perfect sense for large firms with seemingly unlimited budgets. But what about small to medium businesses (SMBs)?
Is the cost of moving worth it?
How do you know when it’s time for a managed cloud solution?
Let’s take a look at seven ways you can use cloud solutions for your SMB. Ideally, you’ll walk away with a “clearer view” of why you should at least consider moving some of your business processes to the cloud.
1. Remote Collaboration
By its very nature, cloud connectivity allows you and your team to collaborate in real time from anywhere in the world — so long as you all have internet access. Services like those offered by Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox and Google Drive, among others, can allow you and your staff greater flexibility to work from anywhere. With remote collaboration, you don’t have to worry about being too tethered to your office or headquarters.
2. Business Continuity
Ever had a laptop crash on you while you’re working on something important? How about a hard drive suddenly becoming unreadable when you desperately need the files on it? And when you try to recover the data you need, you are told it’s gone forever?
Moving your data to the cloud can help prevent such headaches. One of the central features of most cloud-based apps is automatic backup and recovery options. So, even if your team experiences a power outage or hardware malfunctions while working on something important, all it takes to recover their hard work is a click or two.
3. Data Storage
One of the more widespread applications of the cloud is file storage services. Even if your business is not tech-savvy, you surely recognize the need for a significant file storage capacity. In fact, it’s no longer advisable — if it ever was — to keep your inventory logs, client information databases and even employee information in physical, on-site archives.
If you want to run a more sustainable business, moving all your files to the cloud can empower your operations to go fully paperless. Storing everything on the cloud will also allow you access to all your documents from anywhere in the world. And if security is your concern, know that as the owner and administrator of your organization’s cloud, you can also have full control over who gets to access these files.
Partnering with the right managed service provider (MSP) gives your organization a competitive edge. For reliable and redundant data backup, rapid and comprehensive security and rock-solid disaster recovery, you need managed cloud services.
While it’s important to play your part in protecting your business against cyber threats and securing sensitive data, most MSPs now equip their products with extra security measures. One example is the decentralization of data through blockchain technology or data stored in blocks that are linked together by a chain. This makes the information stored on the cloud much harder for hackers to crack.
A common misconception surrounding cloud services is that it requires a considerable upfront investment. But in reality, managed cloud solutions are very much scalable.
What does this mean?
It means you can always pay for the services and access level you need, as you need them. For example, you can start with paying for the smallest storage capacity and just move some of your files to the cloud. Eventually, you can increase your usage as your business grows. Since the cloud is also self-managed by your provider, you may be able to eliminate the need for an in-house IT staff to manage your data and tech needs.
6. Cloud-Hosted Email
Are you still hosting your company’s email client on your own servers? Perhaps you haven’t gotten around to creating personalized or individualized email addresses for your staff? This is another area where you can maximize cloud services.
By moving your email hosting to a cloud-powered solution, you won’t have to manage or invest in servers to run your business email. Your service provider will now be responsible for that. On top of it all, cloud-hosted email is usually more affordable than on-site servers.
7. Cloud-Based E-Commerce
While the pandemic may not have rendered brick and mortar stores completely obsolete, it has definitely increased your customers’ reliance on online shopping. If you are running an online store or are thinking of moving your physical store online, cloud-based e-commerce platforms are definitely the way to go.
Platforms like Shopify have simply been unparalleled, both in ease of use and cost. Doing away with an in-house store management solution is now a no-brainer. Cloud-based e-commerce platforms are also a breeze to scale without the costly investment in hardware.
Migrate Your Data: Managed Cloud With SkyTerra
Now that you know how helpful cloud solutions can be for your small business, we’ll leave it to you to decide when it’s the right time to take the leap. At SkyTerra we make taking advantage of the cloud seamless.
As your managed cloud service provider, we’ll recommend the best approach for your specific business. Our experience with making clients feel at home in the cloud is reflected in our proven accomplishments. Contact Us today and make the move to speed, agility and security in the cloud.