Cloud solutions have been at the front and center of the global shift to remote work. In this article, we’ll talk a bit about how you can maximize cloud technology for your small business.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic rendered many business practices obsolete.
Face-to-face brainstorming sessions…
Team building activities…
At some businesses, even the entire concept of the office…
But the global crisis also accelerated the adoption of technologies that will be worth holding onto even as the world recovers.
This includes cloud computing.
From remote collaboration to virtual classes, cloud-powered applications are creating some semblance of normalcy through these tough times.
The cloud used to be such an obscure concept. After all, it was difficult to imagine an invisible, intangible, centralized location on the internet that manages your business processes.
But recent years have proven the numerous benefits of ‘moving your business to the cloud.’
The Case for Cloud in Small Businesses
Nowadays, almost all large corporations and multinational companies transact their business processes over the cloud.
Moving to the cloud makes perfect sense for large firms with seemingly unlimited budgets.
But what about small businesses? Is the cost of moving worth it? Will it actually improve your bottom line?
In this article, we’ll give you seven ways you can use cloud solutions in your small business. After which, you will get a clearer picture of why you should at least consider moving some of your business processes to the cloud.
7 Ways You Can Integrate Cloud Services
#1: Remote Collaboration
By its very nature, cloud connectivity allows you and your team to collaborate in real-time from anywhere in the world.
Services like those offered by Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, among others, can allow you and your staff greater flexibility to work from anywhere.
With remote collaboration, you don’t have to worry about being too tethered to your office or headquarters.
For example, here at Hermetic, we use Teams to organize all of our projects. We tie in Microsoft Project for task lists, SharePoint for documents, OneNote for meeting notes, and Teams Video for collaboration. Microsoft Teams is the single application where we can organize all the moving parts that make our projects successful – no matter what device we’re on or where we’re located.
#2: Business Continuity
Ever had a laptop crash on you while you’re working on something important?
Or had a hard drive suddenly become unreadable when you desperately need the files in it?
And when you try to recover the data you need, you are told those are gone forever?
Moving your data to the cloud can help prevent such headaches.
One of the central features of most cloud-based apps is automatic backup and recovery options. So, even if your team experiences a power outage or hardware malfunctions while working on something important, all it takes to recover their hard work is a click or two.
While simply moving to the cloud will never be a single silver bullet for business continuity and data backup, utilizing unique features like auto-save, version history, and Hermetic Networks cloud backup solutions, your entire staff can rest assured they’ll never lose critical data to simple mistakes again – letting your business do much, much more.
#3: Flexible Storage
One of the more widespread applications of the cloud is file storage services.
Even if your business is not tech-heavy, you surely have a need for significant file storage capacity. In fact, it’s no longer advisable—if it ever was—to keep your inventory logs, client information databases, and even employee information on physical, on-site archives.
Storage in the cloud is seemingly limitless, so when your business needs additional space, it’s always available. You’ll never have to worry about how large your hard drive is or whether your in-house server’s about to crash.
Storing everything in the cloud will also allow you access to all these documents anywhere you are. And if security is your concern, know that as the owner and administrator of your small business’s cloud, you can also have full control over who gets to access these files. Moreover, partnering with Hermetic Networks for Managed Services means your team is always protected by the latest security offerings for your platform and needs.
If you want to run a more sustainable business, moving all your files to the cloud can also empower your operations to go fully paperless.
#4: Data Security
Here at Hermetic Networks, we understand that data security is one of the biggest reasons why small business owners have been cautious about exploring the cloud.
That may have been a valid and pressing concern when the cloud was still in incubation, but the industry has made great leaps since then.
While you would still need to play your part in securing sensitive data, most cloud service providers have now equipped their products with extra security measures. This makes the information stored on the cloud much harder for hackers to crack.
With a Managed Services Plan from Hermetic Networks, we enable advanced security for all of our clients, including:
- Automated Breach Detection and Response (MDR)
- Managed Antivirus
- Windows and Third-Party Application Patching
- Secure Firewalls with VPN capability
- Advanced Malware filtering
- Phishing Protection
- Safe Links and Safe Attachments
- Advanced Monitoring and Alerting
- Much more…
#5: Scalability and Growth Planning
A common misconception surrounding cloud services is that it requires a considerable upfront investment. But in reality, cloud solutions are very much scalable.
What does this mean?
It means you can always pay for the services and access level you need for now. For example, you can start with paying for the smallest storage capacity and just move some of your files to the cloud. Eventually, you can increase your usage as your business grows.
Since the cloud is also self-managed by the providers, you may be able to eliminate the need for an in-house IT staff to manage your data and tech needs.
As you scale your business, your cloud services can simply scale with it.
#6: Always-On Email
Are you still hosting your company’s email client on your own servers?
Or perhaps you haven’t gotten around to creating personalized or individualized email addresses for your staff?
This is another area where you can maximize cloud services.
By moving your email hosting to a cloud-powered solution like Microsoft 365, you won’t have to manage or invest in servers to run your business email. The cloud service provider will now be responsible for that.
On top of it all, cloud-hosted email is usually more affordable than on-site servers.
While the pandemic may not have rendered brick and mortar stores completely obsolete, it has definitely increased your customers’ reliance on online shopping.
If you are running an online store or are thinking of moving your physical store online, cloud-based e-commerce platforms are definitely the way to go.
Platforms like Shopify have simply been unparalleled, both in ease of use and cost, that doing away with an in-house store management solution is now a no-brainer.
Cloud-based e-commerce platforms are also a breeze to scale without the costly investment in the necessary hardware.
Moving to the Cloud
Now that you know how helpful cloud solutions can be for your small business, we’ll leave it to you to decide when it’s the right time to take the leap.
In any case, we’re here if you need more information on cloud solutions or if you require assistance in moving your business operations to the cloud.