What's in the Clouds for your Small Business?

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Two-thirds of small businesses are already using the cloud for a variety of purposes. By 2014, small businesses are projected to be spending nearly $100 billion on cloud computing. Below are some of the biggest benefits of the cloud for start-ups and established small businesses.

Lower Up-Front Costs

Compared with in-house data storage, cloud computing lets companies get up and running without spending nearly as much on personnel, equipment and space. By using the cloud, it's often unnecessary to hire IT, which means that those human resources expenses are also out of the picture. Equipment costs are basically nothing unless a company needs hybrid cloud services. Companies using cloud computing can also afford to rent or purchase a smaller office space without the need to keep servers on site. Instead of spending money on IT infrastructure and technicians, a small business using the cloud can devote more funds to marketing, a major ingredient in start-up success.

Simplified Expansion

Cloud computing opens the door to easy expansion later, when demand is present but funds for on-site data storage might not be ready. As soon as they are needed, additional cloud services and space can be had for just a bit more money each month. There's no need to hire additional personnel, because cloud computing companies have their own expert staff on hand to work with clients as needed. Cloud computing also streamlines management of new hires by enabling constant monitoring of network activity and total control over files saved on the cloud.

Improved Security

Data breaches can destroy a company from the inside out, and cloud computing helps to prevent it from happening thanks to data center security specialists, strict protocols and the latest hardware and software. Handled in house, this level of security would be cost prohibitive and practically impossible to maintain in many environments. Through partnership with reliable cloud security professionals like QualityTech, a business can be confident of data safety in case criminals attempt physical or digital theft.

Long-Term Operating Cost Reductions

Using the cloud gives small businesses an edge in many fields, including sales, customer management and human resources. No services or equipment expenses are binding, instead consisting of monthly payments that can be changed as operations evolve. Even software rental is available on the cloud, letting companies avoid overspending on high-priced office software.

Protection from Physical Risks

Data stored on site is vulnerable to a host of physical risks, including fire, natural disasters and power surges. A major fire can wipe out an entire office, taking servers with it. Natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, can strike and destroy an office without warning. If a power surge were to strike, it could quickly fry in-house data storage. While insurance might cover replacement of the servers, it can't replace the data that was stored there. Information is much safer stored on off-site cloud storage, but it can also be backed up on site simultaneously through the use of hybrid cloud computing.

It's no surprise that more companies are moving their data and operations to the cloud. With excellent benefits for start-ups and established small businesses, cloud computing is set to grow on a massive scale. Companies who recognize the opportunities offered by the cloud will be rewarded with greater versatility, faster growth and improved stability in the years to come.
Researcher Shelby Warden explores the latest technology trends that allow start-ups and small businesses to experience a new level of growth. QualityTech, one of the largest US data center providers, focuses their data center and cloud computing solutions to meet the needs of your company. After spending considerable time listening to customers, they know the right questions to ask to create the environment and service that’s right for you.
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