Do you remember the days when your work files where stuck on a single server on a single computer.  Did you ever accidentally delete a file and couldn’t retrieve it? How annoying was that? Well, recent developments in file storage have rendered this type of computer crisis a thing of the past.

Cloud computing in all its forms has been all the buzz in the technological sphere for some time now. What is the cloud we hear you ask? No it’s not an virtual space, floating in the air. It’s a tangible, touchable storage system; a cluster of servers symbiotically functioning to ensure consistent and efficient performance. All of this means cloud computing is failsafe, fool and panic proof, and mightily secure. The possibilities are endless, meaning big changes for small companies. With this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL benefits of cloud computing for small businesses.

LOWER COSTS

Switching your small business’ storage solutions to the cloud can bring financial benefits to a number of different parts of the company. Firstly, you’ll save on power; the economy of a larger scale means fully utilized servers and electricity. Next, you’ll save on labour, as much of the storage maintenance will be shared centrally with other companies. Finally, you won’t need to provide upfront investments, as the infrastructure is already in place and managed by the cloud service provider.

FLEXIBILITY

Fancy working at home? No problem. Need to access your files when abroad? Easy. The increased flexibility of cloud computing is one of the major advantages of using it. You can access your data from any device, any place, any time. Many small businesses are taking advantage of this and employing remote workers with flexible working arrangements. This can save your business money on office space, and tech, as you can implement a BYOD (bring your own device) approach saving money on technology.   

EASIER COLLABORATION

Easier flexibility also allows for easier cross-company collaboration.  Having the luxury of being able to access the same files and edit the same documents (sometimes simultaneously) if you wish between employees, makes work life so much easier and more efficient. Cloud collaboration tools – of which there are many – are a heaven sent for small businesses.

RETRIEVE LOST WORK

Failing to save a file, and then accidentally deleting it, can mean big losses for small business; in time, productivity, efficiency and more. However, cloud backup solutions means restoration is easy. With just a few clicks of the mouse, backed up files can be easily found and restored. Even in the rare occasion when disaster occurs on a single server, another server will pick up the work until the faulty one is fixed. This way, there will be hardly any case of downtime and work won’t be affected.

Back in June 2014, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) funded a “super-data-cluster” facility project called JASMIN data centre with advanced cloud computing capabilities. This has enabled new data challenges to be met with vigour, and has ensured an even safer storage system. All this means no more lost work.

SCALABLE FUTURE

Another possibility offered by cloud computing is scalability. Data can now be stored and archived without the issue of space and storage limitation. So if your small business has grand ambitions, the cloud will help you take informed risks and reach your expansion targets.