Information technology is becoming more ubiquitous among small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). For instance, barber shops that use scheduling software can connect their clients with their favorite stylists more easily. Additionally, shops that can accept payments electronically, whether by card or by phone, can accept more customers than cash-only shops do.
However, managing IT in house can be daunting. You have to buy new machines, take time away from production to learn how to use them, and pay staff to maintain and repair them.
Thankfully, you can overcome these problems with cloud computing. The cloud lets you utilize an external provider's computing resources over the internet. You can use business process apps — such as scheduling software — over your smartphone via affordable subscriptions instead of installing them on a desktop using expensive lifetime software licenses.
The cloud is cost-effective for business, but how do you know it’s time to move yours there? To help you figure this out, look out for these signs.
When costs of ownership outweigh the benefits
Having your own IT equipment means capital outlay and maintenance costs. You can figure out if you’ve already recouped your initial investment on the machines as well as track your expenses. If you’ve just recently invested in your own servers, routers, and other networking hardware, then adding infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud solutions to your expenses column might not be the best thing to do.
You can also audit your IT spending and do a cost-benefit analysis. If you find that you’re suffering steep diminishing returns from managing in-house IT, then a subscription to a cloud service can stop the bleeding. That's because a cloud service provider gives you access to state-of-the-art resources managed round-the-clock for a low, fixed monthly rate. On the other hand, a full-time IT technician can be expensive, especially when you consider that his or her availability is limited to work hours only.
When you can’t afford to lose your data
Keeping customer data safe is critical and demanding work. SMBs, in particular, have limited budgets to spend on IT security, but they always need their defenses to be up-to-date. Keep in mind that governments the world over are introducing new privacy laws on a regular basis. On top of that, you also have to plan for the possibility that your office will be ravaged by fire, floods, or other unforeseen calamities.
If you cannot survive without its data, then it's time to move your business to the cloud. Premier cloud service providers such as SimplyClouds ensure that your data is safe from cyberthreats. Furthermore, the best cloud experts keep their systems updated when it comes to regulatory compliance, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Last but not least, data backups are part of the standard operating procedure for elite cloud operators. You can work with them to come up with a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan to minimize costly downtime and prevent data loss. With these two plans in place, you’ll look very prepared and wise to your competitors when catastrophe does strike. To them, you’ll simply paraphrase Louis Pasteur: “Fortune favors the prepared firm.”
Cloud solutions are now more affordable than ever. Talk to our experts at SimplyClouds to know more about how the cloud can benefit your business.