Recently, these words “cloud computing” and “the cloud” have become some of the most popular buzzwords used in the business sphere. Several people do not have a clear understanding of what cloud computing means, but with the expansion in the growth of numerous cloud-based applications which are available to small business entities, it is an excellent idea for a business owner to understand the importance of using the cloud.
WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING?
Cloud computing can be defined as the most recent stage in the transformation of the internet. It ensures the delivery of computing infrastructure, business processes, and applications to a business owner as a service when you need them at any location in the world. Most often, the word “cloud” is used in correlation with services. However, cloud-based services entail the delivery of saving for your business communications system, collaboration tools, files, and software.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?
One of the benefits of utilizing cloud computing is that it helps you to remove several obstacles that small business owners face within the traditional computing settings such as time, expenses, space, and power. The responsibility of the cloud is to offer internet-based computing solutions with shared resources just like electricity is shared on the electrical grid. Some of these advantages for the small business owners are as follows:
More accessibility – With the introduction of the cloud, applications that were once the exclusive possessions of the large-scale enterprises can be accessed by the small business owners.
Reduced costs for end-users – It enables business owners to pay for the services rendered and also remove the need to pay professionals who will handle the installation and maintenance of software and hardware. Use of cloud computing will considerably decrease the capital and operating costs.
Scalability – Introduction of cloud computing allow scaling either in the upward or downward trend, without the longstanding commitment of buying software or equipment.
TYPES OF THE MOST POPULAR TYPES OF CLOUD-BASED APPLICATIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
CRM - Customer relationship management solutions like SalesForce have assisted several small business entities to manage their sales pipelines as most reputable companies do. Cloud-based CRM applications are offering centralized dashboards, online database management, and other viable tools to track and handling sales. These applications are also assisting various business entities to nurture and sustain robust customer relationships.
Virtual Phone/Fax – Use of a cloud-based phone system like Cloudbnet Cloud PBX can help you reduce the expenses associated with running your business as there is no need to purchase software or hardware. It will also offer more incredible features that enhance professionalism and efficiency.
Online Backup – With the use of the cloud storage service providers, there is no need to store and back up your files on discs. These providers permit the users to access, share, and manage files and folders in a safe online setting.
Collaboration – Cloud-based collaboration tools like DropBox and BaseCamp have assisted several business units that have numerous remote team members to upload, update, analyze, and share crucial images, documents, and projects from a single location.
Accounting/Bookkeeping – It is a common knowledge that keeping tracks of expenses, taxes, losses, and profits can be a cumbersome experience for small business owners. It is easier to manage the details of accounting and bookkeeping with the help of reliable programs like Quickbooks which is available as a cloud-based application.
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