How can the cloud help me, an SME business owner?

As a business owner, you don’t need telling that the commercial landscape is arguably more competitive than ever before. If you are in charge of a small or medium-sized company, you are probably more aware of that fact than many.

Therefore, you are likely to be constantly on the look out for new ways to innovate, grow, trim budgets and boost productivity, in order to stay a step ahead of rivals in whichever sector you operate.

While market insiders and experts may continue to speculate about the best ways by which to do this, one tool that has been universally acknowledged as a massive game-changer is cloud computing.

But just what could the cloud do for your small business?

1) Streamline and safeguard IT operations

Nowadays, the business climate can be a bit of a survival-of-the-fittest-meets-dog-eat-dog state of affairs. Smaller companies need to have dependable systems in place to safeguard sensitive information, support communications, streamline IT operations and deal with disaster recovery, should the need arise.

With IT being such a huge part of what so many businesses do, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular cannot afford to leave this side of operations to anyone but experts in the field, which is why third party solutions providers, such asĀ Canopy – the open cloud company, may be the best port of call.

These professionals not only take care of all of these issues, but they do so faster and, all the while, supported by a wealth of experience and expertise that you as a SME owner may not have.

2) Promote flexibility

One of the main benefits of the cloud for employees is it allows them to be more flexible within their working life – something that comes with a whole host of benefits of its own.

The very idea of having an office is primarily to give personnel a space in which to work together and where they can access all of the resources they need to do their job. However, the cloud enables companies to move these online, so that workers are able to do this from anywhere that has an internet connection – which nowadays may be all sorts of places!

Paving the way for mobile working will also mean you can consider the benefits of implementing a bring-your-own-device – more commonly known as BYOD – policy. Many would argue there is little point in BYOD without the cloud.

By adopting a more flexible approach to the way that you run your business, you are also likely to perhaps unknowingly foster a culture of trust and accommodation within your company, which can only be a good thing.

In addition to the benefits the cloud can bring to workers themselves, cloud computing software is designed to be able to adapt to market fluctuations without breaking a sweat. So, if your company suddenly needs more bandwidth or extra server space, the flexibility of a cloud system can scale up or down as and when appropriate, accommodating a potentially unpredictable business model.

3) Save money

The cloud can also help firms who perhaps don’t have a bottomless coffer at their disposal to save valuable funds, which can then be channeled into other areas of the company.

First of all, migrating to the cloud removes the need for sizable, power-guzzling server rooms, not only cutting costs on utilities bills, but also freeing up more space in the office. It’s worth mentioning that it is likely to stand you in good stead with potential clients if you are seen to take your environmental responsibilities seriously, which could help to bring in more business – and thereby more green stuff.

However, in addition to this, automatic software management and updates – as facilitated by the cloud – will not only save you pennies, but also a great deal of paracetamol usually required to alleviate the headache that is managing IT software.

Lastly, through the cloud, SMEs are granted access to industry-leading technology that they may not have been able to afford before. This allows you to compete on an equal footing with big guns in your sector, leading to improved business prospects and – hopefully – a more profitable future.