The public cloud computing market reached $130 billion in 2017, and it’s expected to grow by 21% in 2018.
Cloud service solutions are not just for large enterprises. These days, many small businesses benefit from the flexibility and scalability that cloud services offer. With the advent of cloud solutions, more employees can work remotely and collaborate with other workers from different parts of the world.
Moreover, cloud solutions can help reduce costs on hardware maintenance and IT services. If your business isn’t running on the cloud yet, it might be time to take the jump and see how you can become more efficient.
Want to learn more about the different cloud solutions for small businesses? Read on to learn about 4 cloud solutions tool that can benefit your business.
What Is the Cloud?
You’ve likely heard of the cloud everywhere. Everyone seems to be on the cloud or is looking for cloud solutions. But what exactly is the cloud?
Cloud computing is when you store your information and data on the internet instead of on a physical hard drive. When you store your company’s data on a hard drive, you’re engaging in local storage. You can physically access your data.
However, local storage means you have to maintain the physical equipment and provide a location for them, all of which can be costly.
With the cloud, everything would be hosted on the internet.
There are several different cloud solutions for small business. Keep reading to learn about them.
1. Cloud Storage
Small businesses can use cloud storage to store all their files and data. This solution allows companies to store large amounts of data securely. This data is also easily accessible when you need it, and you can share key documents easily.
Instead of the small business having to store and maintain hardware, the hosting company maintains the hardware.
From a consumer point of view, two popular cloud storage services are Google Drive and iCloud. If someone has a large number of photos or music that can’t fit on their smartphone, they can upload it to the cloud without having to worry about space on their devices.
2. Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS) provides a software that can be accessed on the internet. Instead of the software being hosted on your computer or hard drive, it’s hosted in the cloud.
The software providers are the ones who maintain and take care of the servers.
Researchers expect SaaS services to grow to $55 billion by 2026. Nearly 85% of small business executives expressed interest in investing in more SaaS programs.
The advantages of SaaS include:
- No need for businesses to spend on costly hardware for hosting the service
- Customers can outsource IT issues and don’t need to maintain the software
- The SaaS company takes care of any software issues and updates
- Different pricing model depending on your needs
Examples of SaaS solutions including CRM and project tracking software. Another common form of SaaS solution is email.
The biggest advantage of SaaS is that you can access the software from any location as long as you have an internet connection. This allows you to take your work on the go and potentially work from anywhere.
3. Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a customized, pre-installed software through a cloud service. An example would be a development environment.
Advantages of an IaaS include:
- Scale up or down depending on your company’s needs and resources
- No need to pay for expensive physical servers
- You only pay for the service you need
- You don’t need to buy or support the infrastructure yourself
4. Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is like IaaS but more advanced. While IaaS gives your business the infrastructure, PaaS provides solutions such as a deployment environment for testing and deployment.
A PaaS is optimal for businesses that want to develop software and need an environment to test it on.
Advantages of PaaS include:
- Your business can focus solely on developing your software without worrying about maintaining the infrastructure
- No need for your business to update the infrastructure
- Your team can simultaneously work on the software
Why Choose Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses?
There are several benefits to choosing cloud solutions for your small business.
One of the top advantages of cloud computing is how much your business can save on hardware costs. To set up a data center, you need to purchase the hardware. You also need to pay for the racks for the servers, for the 24/7 electricity costs, and for the energy costs to keep the hardware from overheating.
Moreover, instead of purchasing the whole software, many cloud services are subscription based per month and depending on which services you use. And when your business grows, the cloud solution service can grow with you.
If you have to maintain a physical datacenter, your team will have to spend their time setting up the hardware, troubleshooting, and other IT-related jobs.
With cloud computing, the hosting company can take care of these headaches. You and your employees will have more time for more important jobs.
With cloud solutions, you will have a support team to refer to if any snags or troubles occur.
Another main advantage of cloud services is that your team can work on the same programs or files at the same time. Your team can work together on a project at any time from anywhere in the world. Physical location and time zones are not a problem anymore.
With many programs, you can set access controls for each team member.
Cloud service companies enact top security measures to reduce the risk of hackers and compromised data.
Learn More About Our Cloud Services
Cloud services can offer your small business customized solutions and increase your productivity. There are many solutions available when considering what to migrate to the cloud.
To learn about our cloud storage and our other cloud solutions for small businesses, contact us.