Small and Medium businesses (SME) 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 but is not limited to the capital, revenue, employees or scale of operations. One thing is for sure though, a small business has to make the most of meager resources.
The value which cloud solutions add to an organization of any size is remarkable but in case of small businesses, the 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 types 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). 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.
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 premises or CSP based solution will mainly be dictated by the security 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
Reduction in Costs
The nature of cost reduction will slightly 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 workers that would be willing to work at much lesser wage as compared to a regular employee who comes up to work each day.
Ease of Collaboration
Today’s workforce is 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 project like scenarios, where a task or process has to be accomplished by a small group of employees.
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 log into 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 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.
Cloud solutions are highly flexible from the perspective of both the small business and its employees. As the company hires additional workforce, it will not 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 as many number or 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.
Even if the cloud solution is outsourced, 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.
Why Prefer dinCloud’s Solutions?
Let’s touch a few advantages of cloud based solutions offered by dinCloud.
- A wide range of cloud based solutions, with emphasis on small and medium sized businesses.
- Highly customizable cloud solutions that can be tailored to the needs of any SME.
- State of the art data centers that comply with industry leading physical and cyber 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.
- Business can manage scalability using dinCloud’s proprietary cloud management tool.
- Highly cost effective solutions in which you are billed on a “Pay as You Use” basis.
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-premises cloud solution when dinCloud can take care of all your business needs.
We can help you! Take a look at your current infrastructure and determine what changes need to be made to get ready for the dinCloud. Most importantly, we will help you decide if cloud computing matches your small business needs.