Some business owners might wonder if their business is too small for the cloud. There’s a common misconception that premium cloud services are just for big businesses with hundreds of thousands of customers.
While it is true that using the cloud isn’t for everyone, you may be surprised at just how easy it is for a small to midsize business (SMB) to benefit from using the cloud.
Why Cloud Computing for Small Businesses?
There are numerous reasons why an SMB would want to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud, including:
- Cloud Scalability. Using the cloud makes it easier to upscale/downscale computing resources in response to seasonal changes in need.
- Geodiversity. Moving to the cloud can add geodiversity to business infrastructure so that the loss of a single data center doesn’t cause a total loss of all mission-critical data.
- Security. Cloud hosting providers can offer numerous security features that may be impractical for a small business to employ internally, such as using industry-leading firewall, antivirus, encryption, and physical security.
- Access to the Latest Technology. Cloud service providers constantly update and upgrade the tools that are used on their cloud environments. With the cloud, smaller businesses can gain access to the latest technology and innovations without having to spend extra capital on researching and implementing these solutions themselves.
- Ease of Management. Running an IT infrastructure in-house requires dedicated IT personnel to manage updates, upgrades, and day-to-day maintenance. Using a hosted cloud infrastructure moves responsibility for many of these tasks to the cloud service provider.
The scalability in cloud computing benefit is particularly useful for small businesses because it can help significantly reduce overall computing costs. With an in-house IT infrastructure, small businesses would have to buy enough computing resources to handle peak demand, even if they wouldn’t use half of it for ten months out of the year.
Is Cloud Computing Worth it for My Business?
When evaluating if a cloud hosting provider is right for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my Security Requirements? Depending on your industry and the sensitivity of the information you handle, your exact security requirements may vary. At the very least, your cloud service provider should meet the minimum requirements of any compliance standards your business operates under.
- How Much Do My Computing Needs Vary? If your need for computing resources spikes very high at predictable intervals, and is low the rest of the year, then a secure cloud might be your best option.
- How Worried Am I About Losing Data? Data loss can happen for a number of reasons, from random equipment failures to ransomware attacks by hackers. If you’re especially worried about data loss, using a cloud service with remote data backups can be a lifesaver.
- Do I Have the Internal Resources to Handle All of My IT Infrastructure Upkeep Needs without Taking Time Away from My Business? When you migrate your infrastructure to a hosted cloud service, many of the minor, time-consuming maintenance tasks can be handled by the service provider. This lets you focus more of your time on running your business and driving results that help you grow.
- Can I Run My Business Applications on the Cloud? In most cases, nearly any business application or workload can be run on the cloud. Only applications that require specific legacy hardware cannot be migrated easily, and even then, some providers offer hybrid solutions to enable the use of legacy apps.
While the cloud isn’t for every business, it can be a highly useful tool for small businesses that need powerful computing capabilities that are flexible on a tight budget.