Cloud services are extremely popular today with everything from photos in iCloud to documents in OneDrive. Small business owners often wonder if they should be using the cloud, and it’s a big decision. Moving to the cloud changes the way documents are used and shared throughout an office. A recent Intuit study predicts the number of small business fully adapted to cloud computing will more than double to 80 percent by 2020.
Are you using the cloud already?
Almost all small businesses use the cloud in some ways, but many aren’t even aware of it. Tools like Gmail for email, Google Drive for collaboration on documents, and Dropbox for sharing data or files all use the cloud. These common uses lead business owners to think of the cloud in terms of software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Because of the multiple uses of the cloud and different realms of thought, reports on cloud adoption rates are rather hard to come by. Security and compliance are two large concerns for many small businesses when putting their business on the cloud.
Is it safe?
There’s a common misconception among business owners that the cloud is insecure, unproven, and quite expensive. However, this doubt stems from a lack of information and bad press.
The front line of defense for any cloud system is encryption. Encryption methods use complex algorithms to hide cloud-protected information. Without an encryption key, hackers are not able to access the cloud. This makes data stored in the cloud much safer than storing on a computer or old file cabinets. Granted, the safest way to store data would be in a locked safe hundreds of feet underground, but who has time for that?
Will your business benefit?
Absolutely. Cloud-hosted servers enable massive computing power and minimize IT requirements as well as physical storage. The cloud is able to be accessed from anywhere, on any device, at any time, with the correct information. Files are no longer on a single computer and passed through email.
The cloud improves efficiency by reducing power requirements, space needed, and time taken to move files. The software updates are automatic as well, which allows you to spend less time waiting to update your server.