It’s likely by now that you’ve read an article or two about the reasons your small business should move to the cloud. From cost savings to productivity, the benefits of cloud computing have long been lauded for their ability to help small businesses leverage technology to compete.
But did you know there’s a darker side to the story? If you don’t move your small business to the cloud, you’re exposing it to significant operational and financial risk. Before you make a decision whether to move to the cloud or not, you need to understand and consider the 10 risks below.
Dangers Businesses Face by Not Moving to the Cloud
To compete in today’s market, your business needs to be agile. You need to be able to take advantage of opportunities and recover from losses more quickly than ever. That means scaling up and scaling down as needed. Operating outside of the cloud makes this a much more difficult proposition.
However, when you move to the cloud, you can quickly add resources without interrupting current business users. Need to spin up a new server? Done. Need to add more people to your user list? Taken care of. And, when you no longer need those resources, you can release them back to the vendor.
Since the advent of computing, businesses have been tied to the locations, and the equipment, that enable them to access their systems and data. This greatly limited their ability to be out in the field visiting customers and networking for opportunities.
That all changed when the cloud enabled small businesses to work from anywhere and at anytime. Employees can now have 24/7 access to anything they need and, they can even use their own devices and computers when they do so.
Reduced Business Intelligence
These days, a small business needs to be smart and that means digging into its data. Both business intelligence and data analytics require data collection and storing all the data outside of the cloud can become unwieldy and expensive.
Moving to the cloud enables a small business to get all the storage it needs, when it needs it. And, using online analytics solutions provides the tools needed to discover actionable insights.
One of the most common reason small businesses hesitate to move to the cloud is security. Many are concerned that having their data “out there” somewhere makes it more vulnerable to hackers.
The truth however, is that your data is likely much more secure in the cloud than out of it. In the cloud, you work with vendors and partners who have skilled and experienced security professionals on their staffs. That’s an advantage most small businesses cannot afford on their own and can make all the difference when hackers come for your data.
When your IT systems are in one place, they’re vulnerable to interruption of service due to a power outage or a problem with the hardware, software, or the network. In addition, installing upgrades to the system can cause downtime that costs your small business money.
Working in the cloud relieves much of this risk. If there’s a power outage, you can still drive somewhere to get power and then access everything online. Your vendors and service partners likely have hefty and expensive power backups in place so they’re much less vulnerable to that situation.
When it comes to system issues, vendors are more likely to have expensive and effective fail safes in place.The same goes for upgrades. They will minimize any downtime. A vendor with too much downtime loses business so cloud vendors focus a lot of their efforts to avoid that issue.
More Disaster Prone
40 percent of small businesses do not survive a natural disaster however, having your systems in the cloud is one of the best ways to protect yourself. If a disaster wipes out your office, everything is still accessible in the cloud. If a disaster wipes out your vendor or service partner, their systems are likely backed up and ready to go in a different data center far from the damage.
Either way, the risk of losing everything is much lower if you’ve moved to the cloud.
There are many benefits to collaboration, both inside and outside your small business. If all your systems are in-house however, it becomes much harder to collaborate, both with employees who are outside the office and with clients and vendors. Working in the cloud makes collaboration easier to set up and maintain, enabling small businesses to reap the benefits.
When all your systems are inside your office, you’re dependent on a small group of employees who may not be available when disaster strikes. Or, you can pay an outside company to support you and eat the expense.
In the cloud however, either your vendors or service partners come with built-in support. If something goes wrong, experienced professionals are there to help.
Greater Administrative Burden
Small businesses spend up to 240 days working on administrative tasks or, things they don’t get paid for doing. Part of this administrative burden includes hardware and software maintenance and upgrades as well as license management for both.
These tasks go away when you move your small business into the cloud. Both hardware and software maintenance and upgrades are taken care of by your vendor or service partner and licensing is less complex and more flexible than pre-cloud.
Lower Cash Flow
Finally, working outside the cloud will eat into your profit by increasing your expenses. Not only will you need to pay for equipment and software upgrades. You’ll also have to pay for staff to manage both as well as electricity to keep it all running. Both of these expenses are reduced when you move to the cloud, leaving more for your bottom line.
For more on moving your business to the cloud, visit global cloud services provider Meylah for details. You can checkout special offers that are available to help your company to embark on a journey with Microsoft.
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