Hello Small Business, my how you’ve grown. Look at you, optimizing opportunities in cloud computing and capitalizing on your own big data to make more strategic decisions.
Today, businesses of all sizes are realizing the benefits of cloud technology and how it improves the efficiency, productivity and functionality of business operations. The reality is, the percentage of U.S. small businesses using cloud computing is expected to more than double during the next six years, according to a study from consulting firm Emergent Research.
Taking a look at small businesses and the cloud, the Emergent Research study revealed 78 percent of small businesses (companies with less than 50 employees) will be fully adapted to the cloud by 2020 — up from 37 percent in 2014.
Though today’s small businesses are reporting using cloud-based applications chiefly for email, online banking and social media, the expansion of the small business community’s utilization of diverse cloud applications, tools and platforms is anticipated to greatly increase. As this trend grows, Emergent Research forecasts that cloud computing will completely change how small businesses operate by 2020 — as the small business landscape fully adapts to cloud computing.
Why is The Cloud Great for Small Business?
With variable instead of fixed costs, it’s cheaper for small businesses to leverage the cloud. The cloud provides a flexible and scalable platform that greatly enhances a small company’s opportunities to manage, share and control its data.
Below are ways the cloud is reshaping small business productivity today — and why cloud computing may be the coolest thing to happen to small business since the filing cabinet.
Strong 24/7 Security
The cloud gives today’s small businesses an affordable, expansive platform to store data securely. For many small businesses, the cloud adds a security that is unmatched, resulting in data back-up, decreased hacking vulnerability and protection from the latest cyber-security woes. The cloud gives small businesses a security infrastructure that streamlines operations while keeping data safe, allowing small businesses to operate safely 24/7.
When a business runs with powerful collaboration, everything from daily operations to exceptional customer service is managed and controlled. Collaboration lets a small business operate like a Fortune 500 firm, keeping clients informed, team members on task and mobile workers functional and effective throughout the business day.
The cloud delivers this degree of collaborative functionality to small businesses. With cloud computing in place, an enterprise can track, manage and schedule tasks 24/7, expanding business productivity and customer care greatly.
Big Boy Data Control
With cloud computing, small businesses can not only collaborate better — they can control their data better in the process. Since cloud computing keeps all data in one central location, all team members can access the data and documents required to stay efficient and on task throughout the business day — and beyond. Employees and managers can analyze projects and tasks with ease to determine more streamlined ways of doing business.
Since files are no longer trapped on one team member’s computer, business productivity can rise to new levels as professionals and teams can work on projects 24/7 whether in the office or at home on their tablets or smartphones.
Whew! Disaster Recovery
When a small business relies on a cloud-based service to store and manage its data, the days of complex disaster recovery headaches are over. Cloud computing adds security for small businesses, negating disasters caused by hacking and cyber threats.
In the event of a natural disaster, having data in the cloud means you don’t have to worry about power requirements, space considerations or physical barriers — your data is safe, stored and accessible from any mobile device. By migrating to the cloud, small businesses position their data to survive a disaster.
Cloud  Photo via Shutterstock