Almost all businesses are using cloud technology these days, whether it’s cloud-based website hosting or SaaS applications. But many aren’t yet taking full advantage of the value the cloud offers. For example, only 12% of businesses have all of their core applications in the cloud. Small organizations are slightly ahead of larger ones in this regard, but still only 35% have most and 14% have all core applications in the cloud. 

Why are we focusing on small businesses in this article? While cloud migration benefits businesses of all sizes, large enterprises typically have greater financial resources to invest in on-premises infrastructure as well as large IT departments to handle maintenance and upgrades. Small businesses have special challenges when it comes to resources and time, making them especially poised to take advantage of cloud opportunities.  

Unfortunately, 70% of small businesses in the US put off technology decisions because they feel more comfortable working on day-to-day matters. We’re here to make the case that – for the good of your business – it’s time to stop delaying cloud migration.  

Here are 7 ways that cloud adoption benefits small businesses.   

1. Scalability

If you choose to use your own local servers, your computing resources are finite. If your storage and processing needs increase, you’ll have to invest in more hardware. That not only costs money, it requires physical space in your office and time to set up.  

With cloud computing, you can increase your server capacity in a few clicks. Your growing business can scale your resources up and down whenever it’s needed – no long-term investment or extra hours of work required.  

2. Cost savings

Cloud migration reduces expenses related to hardware purchases, maintenance, and software updates. That’s especially important recently as server costs are increasing. 34% of IT professionals in small businesses are moving more IT resources to the cloud to offset the rising costs of IT hardware. 

Eliminating implementation and maintenance of physical servers also means that you can save money by keeping your IT team lean.  

3. Better remote collaboration

A key benefit of the cloud is the ability to access data and applications from anywhere with an internet connection. This helps employees work remotely and collaborate with coworkers.  

For example, companies can use cloud-based tools like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to work together and share documents. Since cloud-hosted files are stored in a central location, people always have access to the most recent file version.  

Many small businesses outsource work to third parties. Cloud tools can also help team members collaborate with these contractors.  

4. Disaster recovery

Cloud technology makes enterprise-class disaster recovery available to businesses of any size. Traditionally, these solutions were largely out of reach for smaller organizations due to the associated costs and complexities. 

With a cloud solution, data can be automatically backed up across multiple data centers in different locations. If disaster strikes, you can easily restore lost data and files from cloud backups. Meanwhile, employees can stay productive thanks to the remote access capabilities of the cloud.  

5. Lower maintenance needs

As a small business, you may have limited IT resources. Maintaining physical servers (not to mention replacing them every several years) and keeping software up to date is a challenge.  

When you use a major cloud service, much of that work is shifted to the provider. Procuring, maintaining, and upgrading data center equipment as well as performing software updates and patches are no longer your responsibility, giving you more time to focus on your core business.  

6. Data security

Cloud providers offer enterprise-class security features or add-ons that would be cost-prohibitive for a small business to implement locally. Cloud software is also updated automatically, which keeps security strong without any extra work from your team.  

Furthermore, when data is stored in the cloud, a company can access a lost employee laptop to secure sensitive data or wipe it completely. 

7. Competitive edge

Cloud services give small businesses access to a wide variety of tools and technologies that were once only available to large enterprises. This, along with the reduced costs and labor that cloud offers, allows small firms the chance to compete with much larger ones.  

Take the next step in your cloud journey 

Emergent Software has extensive experience helping businesses of all sizes migrate workloads and applications to the cloud. We can work with you to identify the best ways for you to take advantage of cloud services. Contact us to get started.