There have been a lot of articles written about the benefits of cloud storage for small business owners, but many of them focus on the same set of advantages. You probably already know that moving your files to the cloud will save you money and that moving those bulky servers out of the office will free up space for more important things. Those benefits, while well documented, are not the only reasons small business owners should move to the cloud.
If you have been putting off moving your small business to the cloud, it may be time to rethink your decision. You already know about the benefits, but there are other, less well-known reasons to make a move. Here are some of the most underappreciated advantages of shifting from an in-house approach to data storage to the safety and security of the cloud.
One of the most overlooked benefits of cloud service for small business is the enhancement of employee productivity. No matter what the size of the firm, squeezing more productivity from every working hour is critical for owners of small businesses.
Those who may not have the budget to hire additional staff members during periods of peak activity may lack the ability to attract quality candidates, and they may be acting as their company’s human resources staff. By increasing productivity, small business owners can avoid the boom-and-bust cycle that impacts so many startups. As a result, they can build a solid team of key individuals and not have to worry about staff increases and decreases.
Moving to the cloud can increase employee productivity several ways. Perhaps most importantly, cloud storage allows team members to work from anywhere an internet connection is available. Instead of being tied to their cubicles, employees can work from home, catching up on emails and reaching out to prospects even after the office closes.
Just as importantly, the cloud provides traveling executives the freedom to connect to company resources from wherever they are. Whether they are conducting a sales meeting in a remote location or giving a key business presentation to prospective clients, they can access the files they need with the click of a mouse. No more transporting sensitive data on thumb drives, no more worry about lost files, and no more security concerns related to local storage.
In the 21st-century workplace, employees are increasingly placing a higher priority on work/life balance than on salary and benefits. New mothers and fathers are willing to stay home with their newborns, even if it means taking some time off of work. Members of the sandwich generation are taking time off to care for aging parents while raising a family.
The need for work/life balance can create real problems for small business owners, as trusted employees leave due to changes in their personal lives. By moving to the cloud, small business owners can accommodate the needs of their employees, so their best workers can stay on the job and remain productive.
Anyone who has ever searched the network for a seemingly lost file will appreciate what a hassle it can be. Was the data saved locally on the hard drive, or does it live on a server somewhere?
When you store your data in the cloud, you will always know where those files are. Every file your company generates, from the spreadsheet you created a decade ago to the memo you wrote yesterday, is waiting for you in the cloud.
Ease of access is yet another underappreciated benefit of moving to the cloud. Instead of wasting precious time searching for files on the network, employees can find what they need quickly, thereby enhancing their productivity even further.
Blunting the Threat of Ransomware
Ransomware is a growing problem throughout the corporate universe, and some of the biggest targets are the smallest businesses. The writers of ransomware know that small businesses do not always have dedicated IT staffs and that their protective devices may not be as robust as they could be.
As a result, the bad guys are increasingly targeting small businesses with ransomware attacks, demanding payment for the return of their files. And many small business owners are paying the price for that extortion, turning over their cash in exchange for a promise to return their data.
When your data lives in the cloud instead of locally on your computer network, you will not have to pay up the next time a ransomware writer comes to call. You can just access your backed-up files in the cloud, without an interruption to your business.
As you can see, the benefits of cloud storage for small businesses go far beyond cost savings and easier file retrieval. There are plenty of other reasons to move your business to the cloud, including the compelling benefits listed above.