There’s much talk about “The Cloud” lately. Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and varieties are deploying cloud applications daily. While the cloud sometimes makes sense for Large and Medium sized businesses, I believe that it’s the BEST option for the Small business. Below, I share my top 5 reasons for this belief.
1. Budget – Small Businesses can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on hardware and software when deploying a CRM, Project Management, or Marketing solution. Going to the cloud for these types of solutions is far more affordable. There are many “Freemium” options available and most cloud based solution providers offer low cost/high value entry level subscriptions. In most cases, what used to cost thousands of dollars up front plus monthly maintenance fees for hardware and software, is now available in the cloud for a very small monthly investment.
2. Evaluation and Commitment – How many times have you done the FREE trial of a web based product? Are you still using that product today? How many times have you started the monthly subscription only to decide after a few months of “Real World” use that the service is in fact, NOT the right solution for your business? Yeah, me too. If you invest in hardware and software, it’s not only hard to evaluate thoroughly, it’s even harder to walk away from after a commitment has been made. With Cloud based services, it’s easy and requires only a very small investment in order to evaluate the service thoroughly.
3. Updates and Maintenance – What is it that your company does best? I’m willing to wager that your answer was NOT, update software and perform server maintenance. With Cloud based solutions your staff doesn’t have to waste time updating software or trying to apply patches to a server. Nor will they have to spend time trying to figure out why certain software features suddenly don’t work anymore. The Cloud solution provider takes care of all software updates and server maintenance. Your staff stays focused on what they do best.
4. Accessibility – Very simply, if you have access to an internet connection, you have access to your Cloud based services. It’s that simple. This question always arises though:
What if the internet service goes out at the office?
The answer is really easy. Go home and work. Go to Starbucks and work. Go to the Library and work. It’s very rare in this day and age that any of us are more than a few miles from FREE wireless internet service.
5. Scalability – Cloud based service providers design and build their infrastructure for masses of users. They aren’t looking to sign up 50 accounts and be done. They have goals of hundreds of thousands and eventually, millions of users. Cloud services grow with your business very easily. Imagine adding a new user to your CRM system being as easy as completing 4 or 5 fields in a web form. That’s how it normally is with a Cloud based service. Now consider what it would take if you had your own server, software, and hardware to deploy. Adding the new user on the server side would probably be the easiest chore. But then you have to set up their hardware, and then install their software. Oh and don’t forget to update their software, test their connection and permissions, and train them how to use it. In many cases this can take half of a workday, sometime longer. Cloud based services scale up immediately and easily as your business grows.
Perhaps your found this article because you are in the process of considering and evaluating a Cloud based software solution such as a CRM, Project Management tool, or Online File Storage system. If so, head over to my Contact page, get in touch with me or leave a comment below. Ask me anything you’d like. I’ll give you straight answers and my best recommendations on what options are right for your business.