Cloud computing can provide great benefits for small and medium businesses, but for many business owners and administrators, these benefits may not be obvious. Let’s take a quick look at cloud computing and a few of the benefits it can provide to your business.

1. Lower costs:
Although the upfront costs of migrating to the cloud might sometimes seem a barrier, the overall ongoing costs of cloud-based solutions as compared to traditional server-based installations can be greatly reduced. When your business is able to move all of its server-based systems to the cloud, and remove the need for traditional servers located in your office, the amount you can save on hardware, software, licensing, support and maintenance will usually greatly outweigh the ongoing costs of the cloud solutions.

the time and efficiency gained by Utilising cloud platforms and their integrations can often be greatly underestimated.

2. Flexibility:
One of the greatest benefits of the cloud, is flexibility in where and how you can work. You can work at any location worldwide that has internet access, (including from home) without having to arrange more complex VPN and without the reliance on a server sitting in your office. Generally all that is required is an appropriate internet connection with redundancy through the mobile data network or a wired connection. Redundancy can be as simple as using a smartphone as a hotspot.

3. Features:
By taking the expensive requirements for larger scale server infrastructure out of the picture, cloud-based software brings enterprise functionality to small and medium businesses, often at a much smaller scale than previously possible. Where once a company might have needed to have a minimum of 100 users before being able to justify the cost of enterprise level systems – cloud subscriptions allow businesses of only 1 or 2 users to make use of these systems and enjoy all the functionality and quality that is available through these systems.

4. Integration between systems:
Where once, integrating large systems was an arduous and expensive process even for larger businesses, cloud solutions often have these integrations built in to even their most basic offerings. Whether its being able to synchronise your CRM to your accounting system to avoid double entry, having one secure login for all systems, or being able to utilise various apps on your smartphone that may integrate in your various cloud platforms – the time and efficiency gained by utilising cloud platforms and their integrations can often be greatly underestimated.

5. Reliability:
Without a doubt, one of the greatest benefits of cloud solutions over traditionally installed solutions, is the stability and reliability. Even when outages do occur in cloud systems, there are often teams of people working to fix those issues as soon as they occur no matter whether the issue is a software or hardware problem. Contrast this with running your own systems on your own servers – from identification of the real cause of an outage, to potentially having to get replacement server parts – your critical business systems can be down for days! Another great benefit of cloud systems, is that they are usually regularly updated – improving security, stability and bringing the latest features sooner rather than later.

Unless you have recently reviewed how the cloud can help your business grow, then now is the time.

Along with these 5 benefits, there are many others, some of which may be critical to the success of your business moving forward. Unless you have recently reviewed how the cloud can help your business grow, then now is the time. You might find there are significant long term cost savings, product or service improvements, or even quality of life improvements to be made by moving your business systems to the cloud.