| Why EVERY Business Can Benefit From The Cloud

Posted in Small Business at 9:00 AM by Loftis Consulting

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Digital technologies have revolutionized 21st century business. Not only have they enabled for greater international communication and collaboration, they’ve allowed thriving businesses to be run by teams thousands of miles apart and enabled untold workers to shake off the daily grind and start their own businesses from the comfort of their own homes.

One of the greatest innovations of the past decade or so is the use of cloud based technology to facilitate IT infrastructure. While many consider the cloud merely a storage solution, there is a wealth of cloud and server based applications that are invaluable for businesses of all sizes.

 

Cost Benefits of the Cloud

Unlike physical storage costs (for example, external hard drives), cloud based storage is completely scalable to the needs of the user. This can enable small startups to begin with modest storage packages and upscale as their businesses and their subsequent demands grow. Physical storage pricing structures are far more linear, leading to businesses paying over the odds for terabytes of unused data. There’s no need for expensive and disruptive upgrades or overhauls since a cloud based infrastructure is updated and upgraded automatically. The costs are borne by the provider, while you as a customer simply pay a subscription.  Coupled with the reduced upfront costs then the cloud comes out as the clear winner!

 

The Security of the Cloud

Damage mitigation should be a priority for just about every business. Whether you’re a construction company laying ground protection mats, or a cafe letting the shutters down at the end of a day’s business. Whatever the nature of your business, you’ll likely handle data that you want to keep secure. Usually this means spending money on secure on-site data storage solutions such as hard drives and servers. The trouble is that these can be compromised by robbery or natural disaster. While data can be retrieved from damaged or destroyed hard drives, it is a lengthy and expensive process. By using a cloud your data is secure whatever happens to your physical premises. Most cloud providers offer sophisticated 128 or 256 bit AES encryption. They also have redundancy measures in place to ensure files are not lost or corrupted.

 

Collaborating with the Cloud

The cloud enables you to collaborate with people all over the world, sharing documents and working collaboratively using cloud based software. Google Docs, for example, is an excellent word processing platform that allows collaborators to access documents, make notes and share with others with by-the-second real-time updates.

 

Potential Risks

While there are many inherent advantages to using the cloud, it is not without its risks, and your provider should be researched rigorously prior to committing to a subscription.

  • Your data (and that of your clients) will be in the hands of a third-party, so make sure you know their security measures.
  • Your data can be compromised by a poor internet connection. A poor connection can impede your ability to upload, store or access data.
  • Data storage companies are based in different locations which may have different laws on the handling of data.
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