Small business owners are discovering the value of bring their business in the cloud. Using cloud services has helped them control the bottom line and allow them to concentrate on growing their businesses.
Today’s entrepreneurs have too much on their plates. They want to be focused on marketing their products and services, but increasingly they’re forced to spend their time on technology: data storage, information security, systems compatibility, not to mention new devices, software, and channels. Then there’s the biggest concern of them all, finding a reliable tech guy to troubleshoot problems when they occur.
Fortunately, there’s a better way. Instead of constantly adding to the IT infrastructure with more capacity, technologies and consultants, wouldn’t it make sense to let an outside company handle the work? This is where cloud services come in.
What is the cloud, and where is it?
For most people, the idea of cloud computing remains very mysterious, but it shouldn’t be. At its core, cloud services simply means retaining an outside company to take care of specific technology needs, such as storage, security, backup and collaboration. These services, and the technologies that enable them, no longer live in that small closet you call the computer room, but reside in a virtual environment — “up in the cloud”— to be called upon whenever they’re needed.
“Instead of constantly adding … more capacity, technologies and consultants, wouldn’t it make sense to let an outside company handle the work”?
The first step in moving your technology off-site is assessing the needs of your business. First, what are your most pressing technology-related concerns?
- How much data is there in the servers? A retail outlet that’s been operating for a long time might have years of customer and supplier information; a relatively new restaurant would probably have much less.
- How important is data security? If the servers contain a lot of confidential information, such as credit card numbers and e-mail addresses, then data protection must be a priority.
- How many employees and partners need access to the servers, and on what schedules? A startup company might have employees or consultants in far-flung locations, all of which need to access the servers and use online collaboration tools.
- How much does keeping it all in-house cost, particularly as a percentage of monthly operating expenses? In many small companies, owners or partners spend a big chunk of time managing technology. Don’t forget to factor that in!
Services Scaled to Your Needs/Available 24/7
Retaining a cloud services provider offers tremendous flexibility. Services can be scaled up or down, depending on changing business needs, and they can be used to securely store and back up every kind of data. Further, the technologies involved can be upgraded easily, whenever better options hit the market; and support is available around the clock.
Controlling Your IT Costs
There was a time when sophisticated cloud services like these belonged exclusively to big corporations, but not anymore. Bringing in a cloud services provider means getting the IT services your business needs —and only when it needs them— without the cost and complexities of managing them in-house. And with a variety of providers now in the market, such as Time Warner Cable Business Class, cloud services have become truly affordable.
Benefits of World Class Cloud Services
When contracting with a cloud services provider like Time Warner Cable Business Class, there are several potential functions and benefits to consider.
- Better Backup: No business owner wants to worry about backing up every bit of data to ensure it won’t be lost if the system crashes, and that’s exactly why automatic backup is so important. This service helps companies minimize the risk of data loss due to file corruption, theft, accidental deletion and natural disasters.
- Better Security: Business owners can securely access or restore files on the Internet and customize the setup to suit their needs. Furthermore, the service encrypts all data in the system, which means that even if the data is stolen, it’s worthless to the thieves. Worried about losing files? Cloud services offer file restoration, including historical versions of files for 30 days. So if data security is a priority, and it should be, then backing up data (and even software applications) in the cloud is a great option.
- Greater Productivity and Mobility: In the modern workplace, many businesses have employees who work from home, which may be across town, or in the suburbs, or in another state, or even in another country. Through the Hosted Exchange cloud service, companies can manage time and information with powerful collaboration tools that help synchronize information across various devices — desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones — allowing entrepreneurs to manage projects and share the latest information.
- The benefits can be significant. Company communications are integrated, so everyone stays connected with streamlined collaboration. It also helps minimize the irritations: multilayered anti-spam filtering stops unwanted messages before they go through.
- Worry-Free IT: Let’s face it; using new technologies to advance your business is great, but it also puts tremendous pressure on the back room. Most employees don’t have to fret about storage, security and compatibility, but the business owner has to. Bringing your business in the cloud by signing with a cloud services provider takes all those worries off-premises and lets the small business owner get back to what he or she loves to do best — growing that small business into a bigger one.