Cloud computing has been an exciting topic for large multinational businesses for years. Cloud computing can be described as allowing them to access the resources and software they need to create and run certain parts of their business.
Amazon and Salesforce have made it possible to transform traditional technology into value-added solutions through the shift toward cloud computing. Fortune 500 firms have taken the decision to move their business-critical applications to the cloud. They can rent them from another company, which specializes in delivering services over the Internet. This has allowed these companies to save significant time and resources. Large businesses can see the value of cloud computing, but small businesses cannot.
Here are some cloud computing strategies for small businesses:
Scale as you need it:
Cloud computing lets you address non-essential business functions with third-party solutions. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace’s web hosting platform, is used by online media companies to stream video. A pay-as-you-go business model allows companies to match the demand for their services while avoiding costly infrastructure investment. Scalability becomes almost inexhaustible.
Service providers have been able to develop niche offerings through cloud technology. This has helped them be more competitive. SuccessFactors is a company that has given the power of HR optimization to companies without the resources to create or buy their own platform.
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Service providers have become so proficient at what their work does, that it is almost unwise for businesses in the future to start their own. Google has many cloud services that it offers small businesses such as Gmail. Google handles the infrastructure. The look and feel are branded by businesses. WordPress allows you to host professional-looking websites.
Google Analytics allows businesses to see what’s happening on the site in real-time. Adobe now owns Omniture and offers social media analytics that is a step above the rest. Geckoboard, another affordable service, provides a dashboard view of the most important real-time data across small businesses.
Cloud services remove the stress from many ancillary business management tasks. Freshbooks allows you to automate certain activities, such as invoicing. Hubspot, however, can manage your inbound marketing. Small business owners have the option to put non-essential business functions on autopilot so they can concentrate on more important activities.
A collaborative approach is key to delivering successful products, services, and products. Dropbox is one of the most popular file-sharing software. It allows teams to share documents and collaborate on them, including presentations. Others productivity suites such as 37Signals mirror the tools large companies use for streamlined global teams. The same tools are now available to entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Manage cash flow
Instead of spending thousands on a system purchase or development, cloud computing providers offer a subscription option that makes payments in bite-sized chunks. The pay-as-you-go model is essentially an investment plan that allows you to put money away for future capital. These systems can also be purchased by small businesses with cash flow.
While cloud computing is vital for big businesses, it’s just as important for small businesses. Small business owners can benefit from the same tools as large businesses for years by using cloud computing. It helps to level the playing table.
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