FOUR WINDS FORECAST

Hot Topics, Trends, and Everything Else IT

Business in the Clouds - An SMB's Guide to Cloud Solutions

Posted February 17, 2020 by Dylan Borden
Cloud Climbers

Have you ever avoided eating a food because you weren’t sure you’d like the taste, only to finally try it and wish you’d been eating it your whole life? Well, that’s essentially how businesses that haven’t investigated cloud solutions will be feeling in 2020...

With over 66% of SMBs having already embraced cloud computing and more expected to adopt some variation of a cloud-based solution this year, now is the time to explore the cloud and what it could do for your business.

This article will examine the various benefits the cloud can provide a business, but before exploring any solutions it is important to first ask yourself a couple of questions regarding your company:

  • Who are your clients and what do THEY need?
  • Where do your employees work/where do they want to work?
  • How do you envision your company growing?
  • What is your company’s view of technology?
  • Do you have a dedicated IT person?
  • What do you wish you could do better?

Questions like these will help you identify where your company stands from a technology standpoint and can highlight areas that could be improved by a cloud-based solution. Some typical areas are flexibility, security, functionality, and, of course, cost savings.

Let’s take a look at each scenario to see how a cloud-based solution could help:

Free Download - Cloud vs On-Prem Case Study

Flexibility and Savings

Cloud solutions allow a company to be more agile and to scale with ease as they grow. Traditionally, a company would need to purchase a server and other hardware to store their data and critical applications which would require significant upfront capital, and, when it came time to build out the network, they’d be faced with additional hardware costs and a potentially lengthy-installation period.

Cloud Cost Savings

Instead of having large, upfront hardware costs, the cloud offers a much lower entry cost in that you pay as you go and only for what you need. This freedom allows companies to reallocate the money saved to other areas of the business, and, the best part? Someone else is managing your cloud network so you don’t have to worry about configuration issues and constant upgrades!

Essentially, a cloud solution allows a company to scale quickly without incurring the significant costs or wasted time associated with scaling their IT infrastructure.

Security

Cyber security should be a top priority for every single business, large or small. In the last year alone, over 205,000 US companies reported being hit with ransomware (this does NOT include phishing and other cyber-attacks) - a 41% increase from the year before [1]. And guess what? The amount of money cyber criminals charge to return your data is also increasing:

Ransomware Chart

*These figures only represent the price of the ransom and do NOT account for downtime, lost revenue, or potential repercussions for losing sensitive client information

So how can going to the cloud help secure your business and protect you from an attack?

Well, when operating on the cloud your resources (data, software, critical applications) are typically stored off-site in a secure data center and are only accessed as needed. This means that if your network is breached the attacker won’t have access to anything businesses-critical stored on the cloud, so you can stay operational and avoid paying to get back what is already yours!

Functionality

The workplace has drastically changed over the past decade as companies have embraced technology and moved toward a more modern workplace. Employees want more freedom in terms of where they work and how they work, and cloud technology can help deliver on both counts.

Modern Workplace

In the past, employees needed to be in the office in order to work because everything from email to internal documents were only accessible from a networked workstation. Now with cloud technology, employees can access business applications and pull info from the network remotely, enabling them to work from home or on the go.

With the average adult owning three or more smart devices, it stands to reason that more people are wanting to bring their personal devices to work. Before, this would require adding the device to the network and installing various applications and software, but now all an employee need do is remember their credentials and password and they are ready to go!

Why is this so important?

69% of millennials would give up other work benefits for a more flexible working space

Companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t

Employees, especially the younger generation, want to work for an organization that can provide these types of freedoms and it shows when it comes to happiness in the workplace and overall job satisfaction.

Conclusion

Going to the cloud can support your business in plenty of practical ways and a complete cloud migration isn’t required to start realizing the benefits. Start by asking yourself what you would like your business to accomplish or improve on in the coming year and then from there speak with a cloud expert to discover how a cloud-based solution could help you turn these goals into a reality.

Questions about how cloud technology could help your business give us a call at 941-315-2380 or schedule a meeting with one of our experts! 

Still cloud curious? Check out this case study from Microsoft which takes a look at four companies that benefited after moving their on-premise solution to the cloud:

Cloud vs On-Prem Case Study

Sources:

1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/technology/ransomware-attacks.html?utm_campaign=Security&utm_content=115850000&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&hss_channel=lcp-10306488

2. https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/remote-work-statistics/#gref

filed under: Cloud Solutions, Tech Tips