Don’t Put Off Moving Your Business to the Cloud

24

JUNE, 2019

Note: This article was updated on: Oct 25, 2019

Over the past decade, there has been a widespread adoption of cloud-based services among corporate enterprises. Countless surveys and case studies point to the fact that online platforms and applications are helping these organisations achieve phenomenal cost savings, increased agility, and enhanced data security among other things. But, many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) still aren’t buying in.

Why are SMBs Dragging Their Feet?

Many smaller companies are less enthusiastic about transferring their operations to an online platform. Even though cloud-based services have been around for a while, a recent report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) states that only 40 percent of smaller companies in the UK are entrusting their operations to the cloud.

There are several reasons why a smaller company would be reluctant to move some or all of their operations online. The usual suspects are: 1) they are working with a limited budget; 2) they’re already invested in costly on-premises solutions; and 3) the owners are afraid to give up control.

But, the small companies that have already taken the leap have been successfully using their internet-based resources to boost their operational efficiency and become more competitive. In fact, the same FSB study mentioned above reports that after three or more years, using cloud-based services can result in an increase of over 13 percent in sales per employee at smaller companies.

Free Up Your Limited Resources with Cloud-Based Services

Some SMB owners and managers believe that moving to the cloud would cost them a lot of time, effort, and money. But, it’s quite the opposite.

Reliance on so-called “legacy technology,” in-house systems running on isolated servers stored onsite, is generally a ticking time-bomb of last minute fixes on outdated hardware and software. These systems may technically work. But they usually present major security flaws, and smaller companies often tie up their limited money in the maintenance of their setup. Consider one example: most on-site servers need to be upgraded about every 5 years, and that alone requires a significant monetary investment.

With cloud-based computing, such a capital investment is unnecessary. In addition, there are countless platforms on the market, offering software as a service (SaaS) solutions that can help SMBs significantly reduce the amount of time, money, and effort spent in various operational areas including, data backup and security, accounting, payment processing content management, and customer relationships management. Plus, you can check, update and manage all of these functions from anywhere you have an internet connection.

But what about the actual cost of these services? The truth is these days you can get access to the most robust, cutting edge enterprise-grade tools, with incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces, paired with best in class service and technical support… and, the best part is most of these services are priced with SMB budgets in mind. SaaS platforms and applications are generally based on pay per subscription model with various plans to choose from.

So, instead of spending time, effort and money managing their in-house systems, managers and developers are then free to redirect and focus their resources on improving other areas of their business, such as research and development.

Moving Online is Less Risky

Emergencies happen; they’re a fact of life. But, seriously, what would you do if a fire broke out in the office, or your server crashed, or you are the victim of a ransomware attack? Consider these statistics:

Almost 40% of small businesses never re-open after a natural disaster.

Cybercrime costs small businesses on average £65,000 a year in damaged assets, financial penalties and business downtime.

According a report by the Ponemon Institute, unpatched vulnerabilities account for 60 percent of data breaches.

60 percent of small companies that lose their data after a disaster close down within six months.

The cloud-based services and applications are typically more secure than most in-house data centres. Not only are these systems off-site and are thus protected from damage to a business’ physical location, but most cloud platforms automatically update for security fixes and sudden, but significant changes in regulation.

Online Platforms Help Your Business Become More Scalable

Cloud-based platforms are typically the perfect solution for SMBs that are growing or plan to expand in the future. Instead of acquiring new equipment for your in-house data center, you can simply pay for additional cloud-based services as you need them.

Plus, these platforms can help you identify the most profitable areas for future growth and development by recording and analyzing the data your business is automatically generating. When data is properly recorded, analyzed, and acted on, it becomes a vital asset that can help you make better business decisions.

In short, if you aren’t currently using cloud solutions for your small or mid-sized business, then you are missing a big opportunity to save a whole lot of time, effort, and money. Just imagine how you could put those precious resources to work to make your business the best it can be.

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