5 Reasons Small Businesses Should Use Cloud Services

By James Burchill

Many businesses are happy to outsource some of their functions like payroll, web hosting, and so forth. In fact, in today’s business climate, if you aren’t outsourcing or using a cloud service for collaboration or communication, you’re probably in the minority. One thing that’s rarely outsourced, however, is database and file storage.

Businesses have often been leery of this due to big headlines of hack attacks, outages, and more. Yet most businesses have put other service, such as those already mentioned, into the cloud and have seen few or no outages at all. Obviously, outages aren’t as widespread as the media would have you believe.

So here are 5 reasons for your business to be putting itself in the cloud:

1. Save on infrastructure and get better performance and features.

Let’s face it, your business probably can’t afford the largest, best, latest-and-greatest server hardware and services software. Right? That doesn’t mean you can’t have it, though. Providing IT services in-house is an expensive proposition and when that moves to more advanced items like file storage/sharing and (especially) database handling, it gets very pricey very quickly.

Instead, you can opt to outsource this almost entirely and pay a set monthly fee rather than buy a lot of hardware. This also means you’ll likely get better machines, better software, better services and many more features than you would if you bought all of this yourself, on your own budget.

2. Save on setup and management.

Setting up all of that equipment requires specialists and a lot of planning and know-how. Once it’s in place, someone has to care for it. When you go with cloud services, all of that onus is on the contractor, not you. That can save a lot of headache and money.

3. Utilities cost money!

Cloud services can be set up virtually anywhere. Many providers choose to locate themselves in areas where utilities (power, Internet trunk connections, etc.) are low cost in comparison to hotbeds of IT like Silicon Valley and large metropolitan areas. So their costs are automatically lower. You, on the other hand, are either already established at your current location or have to be in a big city or other area because of the nature of your business – neither of which may be conducive to low-cost utilities.

4. Increased agility and faster response times.

With a cloud service, you have the ability to shrink or expand as needed, no new infrastructure or outages as you upgrade required. This means that your business can grow and change unfettered by weak or outdated IT resources.

In fact, not only are most cloud services scalable, they’re also nimble in their usage. You can easily add contractors, clients, etc. to your services without compromising its security just by adding their own set of services through your provider.

5. Fault tolerance.

Last, but not least, cloud services are inherently more secure and put up with hardware and software problems much better than do fixed, in-house systems. That’s because they are built to be redundant and are not centralized in terms of hardware. So if one server crashes, one server rack becomes disconnected, or an entire facility loses power.. if it’s in the cloud, it will adjust to make up for the missing parts of the whole.

Overall, if your business isn’t using cloud services.. maybe it should be.

Reposted from jamesburchill.com

James Burchill shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing.  You can find out more at www.JamesBurchill.com and you can subscribe to his J-List to get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

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