Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) are the backbone of any country’s economy. They provide job opportunities and serve as an engine for growth and innovation. Most of today’s multi-billion dollar businesses had humble beginnings.
There can be multiple criteria that we can use to classify a business as small, medium or large. It can include factors such as capital, revenue, employees or scale of operations. One thing is for sure though, any small business has to make the best use of its limited resources.
The value which cloud solutions add to an organization of any size is remarkable. In case of small businesses however, these advantages can be overwhelming. Before we highlight the key advantages of cloud based solutions for small entities, let’s touch the two main types of deployment infrastructures.
Types of Cloud Infrastructures
Below is a brief overview of two of the most basic deployment models of any cloud based solution.
In this deployment type, all the hardware and data is stored at an exclusive data center, located within the premises of the business. The entity itself is responsible for procuring and maintaining all the hardware related to the solution.
An alternative to the in-house cloud deployment is to engage a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) like dinCloud. In this case, all the hardware and data will be stored remotely in the shared data center of the CSP. All the costs related to procuring and maintaining the hardware will be the sole responsibility of the CSP.
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In House v/s Cloud Service Provider
When it comes to the core differences between the two deployment options, there are none. The choice between an on premise and CSP based solution will mainly be dictated by the security and control preferences of each small business.
In theory, an in-house cloud solution is considered more secure as compared to a shared CSP. Cost is also an important consideration for small businesses, which is relatively high if the cloud solution is deployed on premises.
Advantages of Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses
The importance of cloud computing in business organizations is not reserved just for the large enterprises. On the contrary, the Cloud is one of the few ground breaking technologies that’s equally accessible even to Small and Medium sized businesses. This in fact removes entry barriers for SMBs and provides a level playing field to a great extent.
Below, we will be making a case for why using the cloud for business makes perfect sense, both in the short as well as long term. SMBs particularly need the initial “nudge” during their infancy stages, before their product or service becomes a hit, and the Cloud provides exactly that boost for a small price.
Reduction in Costs
The nature of cost reduction will vary, depending on whether your solution is on-premises or outsourced. The cost related benefits for each are explained below.
On Premises / In House
- If the solution is deployed on premises, the company only needs to invest in a powerful server.
- The rest of its IT hardware does not need to be upgraded regularly, thus saving costs.
- Company can allow a large number of employees access to its cloud network with no extra cost.
Outsourced / Cloud Service Provider
- In case a CSP is engaged, all the related hardware is the sole responsibility of the service provider.
- The existing computers of the company need not be updated as the resources of the CSP will be used.
- Company can create additional users on the cloud network, just by paying a nominal usage fee.
Once a unique user has been created on the cloud network, the employee can access the cloud using multiple device platforms and locations. The common examples of these platforms are smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Further, an employee can access the work from the office, home or while on the move.
This flexibility can greatly enhance the productivity and motivation level of an employee. By using the cloud, small entities can even hire mobile or remote workers that would be willing to work at much lesser wage as compared to a regular employee who needs to come up to work each day.
Ease of Collaboration
Today’s workforce is quite diverse and at times, physically dispersed as well. As the data is centrally maintained in any cloud solution, the physical distance does not hamper efficiency. This is particularly helpful in work scenarios such as projects, where a task or process has to be accomplished by a small group of employees and real-time collaboration is required.
When the data is housed over the cloud network, each employee can take over the task, right from where the preceding employee left it. This enhances collaboration and coordination between employees that can be an asset for a small entity with limited number of skilled workers.
The good thing about a cloud solution is that all the data is maintained at a central location, whether in house or with a CSP. It is administratively much convenient to secure a centralized database from cyber threats as compared to data that is stored sporadically across many devices.
Another advantage of a cloud solution is that if an individual device used to login to the cloud network is lost or stolen, the data will remain safe from unauthorized use. The only security precaution will be that the employee concerned will change the password that was used to gain access to the cloud network.
Whether in house or out sourced, the servers used to centrally store the data are quite superior in performance. Secondly, all the productivity related applications and software also run over the cloud network. So even if the devices of a small business are somewhat obsolete, the overall efficiency will remain unaffected. Employee productivity extends beyond the physical boundaries of the workplace.
Cloud solutions are highly flexible from the perspective of both the small business and its employees. As the company hires additional workforce, it won’t have to purchase additional personal computers. Rather, a new unique user will be created for each new employee and they are good to go.
The benefits of a cloud’s flexibility also extend to employees of the small business. They don’t have to worry about the device they are using to access the cloud network. The only thing required is correct login credentials. Moreover, an employee can remain productive even without turning up to the workplace in person.
Typically, if a small business plans to increase its operations, it will have to procure additional IT hardware to support the new staff. In the event of a downsizing, all the capital expenditures incurred to procure the additional hardware will be rendered fruitless.
On the contrary, it is much quicker and cost effective to scale up or down over a cloud solution. To scale up, the IT department will simply create new users over the cloud network. Similarly, when an employee leaves the organization, the user will simply be removed or deleted from the cloud, after securing the data.
If the cloud solution is outsourced to a CSP, the only cost of up scaling will be an additional fee for each new user. Similarly, if a small business wants to avail a new productivity software from the CSP, it can be commissioned within a few minutes, just by paying a nominal usage fee.
Whether in house or outsourced, all the data and applications are maintained at a central location. Any update, security or performance related patch will have to be installed at a single location. Its effect will automatically transpire to each and every existing and new user.
In case of a conventional infrastructure, each individual machine of the small business will have to be updated individually. This will not only raise concerns regarding poor compatibility, the small business will have to maintain an army of full time IT technicians to take care of these recurring and trivial tasks.
One of the main competitive advantages of SMBs is cost related efficiencies. Due to their limited resources, most small to medium sized businesses are always on the lookout to save costs. A reliable cloud computing solution such as dinHVD can serve as a seamless remote work platform for your employees.
Whether remote work is voluntary or due to unforeseen circumstances, it can result in cost savings for SMBs. With the entire or majority of your employees working remotely via the Cloud, you can save a host of business overheads such as rent, utilities and similar administrative expenses, improving your viability.
Business Continuity (BC)
Unlike large enterprises that have deep pockets and ample capacity to absorb shocks, SMBs are very susceptible to factors that can potentially affect smooth functioning. Cloud computing provides unrivaled Business Continuity (BC) to SMBs at a fraction of the costs of developing such mechanisms on premise.
Whether its disruption that’s caused by natural or man-made events, your small business is quite likely to remain immune from its effects, primarily because of Cloud Computing. With Disaster Recovery (DR) built into the cloud service, your small or medium business enjoys strong BC in the wake of crises.
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Why Prefer dinCloud’s Solutions?
No two companies that offer cloud computing services are equal. You need to consider a few variables across the industry to choose the right Cloud Service Provider (CSP) for your small or medium business. Let’s touch a few advantages of cloud based solutions that are offered by dinCloud.
- A wide range of cloud based solutions, with plenty of options for small and medium sized businesses.
- Highly customizable cloud solutions that can be tailored to the needs of any SME on a very short notice.
- State of the art data centers that comply with industry leading physical and cyber security controls.
- Multi-layered security protocols to ensure maximum security of your data.
- Dedicated virtual servers to provide each small business with a seamless cloud experience.
- Businesses can manage scalability and other aspects of their solution using dinCloud’s proprietary cloud management portal called dinManage.
- Highly cost effective and transparently priced solutions in which you are billed on a “Pay as You Use” basis.
When choosing a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) for your SMB, the list of cloud computing companies could be quite long. However, this does not imply that each CSP would be suited to the needs of your SMB by default. You have to choose the CSP wisely so that the move to Cloud yields the desired results.
For a small to medium sized business, it is not always feasible to setup cloud servers for business on premises. On the other hand, cloud computing provides cloud based solutions for business entities, regardless of their size or industry in which they operate.
By now, if you manage a small business, you would certainly be compelled to leverage the benefits of a cloud solution. Why get into the hassle of deploying an on-premise cloud solution when dinCloud can take care of all your business needs.
We can help you! Just take a look at your current infrastructure and determine what changes need to be made to get ready for dinCloud. Most importantly, we will help you choose the most optimal cloud solution for your small or medium sized business. Our dedicated cloud experts will try to meet your existing and future technology needs in a seamless manner.