Before 2020, many large businesses were resistant to moving their processes online. Their fears about data security and the cost (and effort) of change stifled the adoption of cloud computing in the UK and beyond.
The global pandemic changed all that and accelerated the adoption of cloud technologies in support of remote working.
Today, almost all big corporations and multinational companies transact their business processes over the cloud.
But what about small UK businesses?
Now that lockdowns are hopefully a thing of the past, what should a small business owner do next? What technologies are worth keeping and what additional investments should be made?
The Trusted Computing team has detailed seven cloud solutions that you should be considering.
1. Remote Collaboration
By its very nature, cloud connectivity allows you and your team to collaborate in real-time from anywhere in the world—so long as you all have internet access.
Services like those offered by Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive, among others, can allow you and your staff greater flexibility to work from anywhere.
With remote collaboration, you don’t have to worry about being too tethered to your office or headquarters.
2. Business Continuity
Ever had a laptop crash while you’re working on something important? Or had a hard drive suddenly become unreadable when you desperately need the files in it? And when you try to recover the data you need, you are told those are gone forever?
Moving your data to the cloud can help prevent such headaches.
One of the central features of most cloud-based apps is automatic backup and recovery options. So, even if your team experiences a power outage or hardware malfunctions while working on something important, all it takes to recover their hard work is a click or two.
One of the more widespread applications of the cloud is file storage services.
Even if your business is not tech-heavy, you surely have a need for significant file storage capacity. In fact, it’s no longer advisable—if it ever was—to keep your inventory logs, client information databases, and even employee information on physical, on-site archives.
Storing everything on the cloud will also allow you access to all these documents anywhere you are. When it comes to security, you can be reassured that, as the owner and administrator of your small business’s cloud, you can also have full control over who gets to access these files.
If you want to run a more sustainable business, moving all your files to the cloud can be the first step towards your operations becoming fully paperless.
4. Data Security
At Trusted Computing, we understand that data security is one of the biggest reasons why small business owners have been cautious about exploring the cloud.
That may have been a valid and pressing concern when the cloud was still in its early stages, but the industry has made great leaps since then.
While you still need to play your part in securing sensitive data, most cloud service providers have now equipped their products with extra security measures. One example is the decentralization of data through blockchain technology. This makes the information stored on the cloud much harder for hackers to crack.
5. Scalable Growth Planning
A common misconception surrounding cloud services is that it requires a considerable upfront investment. But cloud solutions are highly scalable. This means you can just pay for the services and access level you need for now.
For example, you can start by paying for the smallest storage capacity and just move some of your files to the cloud. Eventually, you can increase your usage as your business grows.
Since the cloud is also self-managed by the providers, you may be able to eliminate the need for in-house IT staff to manage your data and tech needs.
As you scale your business, your cloud services can simply scale with it.
6. Cloud-based Email
Are you still hosting your company’s email on your own servers?
This is another area where you can maximize cloud services. By moving your email hosting to a cloud-powered solution, you won’t have to manage or invest in servers to run your business email. The cloud service provider will now be responsible for that.
On top of it all, cloud-hosted email is usually more affordable than on-site servers.
While the pandemic may not have rendered brick and mortar stores completely obsolete, it has certainly increased your customers’ reliance on online shopping.
If you are running an online store or are thinking of moving your physical store online, cloud-based e-commerce platforms are definitely the way to go.
Platforms like Shopify are unparalleled, both in ease of use and cost. This means that doing away with in-house store management solutions is now a no-brainer.
Cloud-based e-commerce platforms are also a breeze to scale without the costly investment in the necessary hardware.
Move your business into the Cloud...
We hope we’ve made a strong case for using more cloud solutions in your small business.
The team at Trusted Computing understands that changing your technology is a big step for any small business owner. But remember that this no longer means that you have to take a big leap into the unknown.
We hope you found this article useful. If you run a small business in the North West of England and want more information about how to take advantage of more cloud-based solutions then please get in touch.