How Cloud Services Can Help Small Businesses
There’s no question that the Cloud is changing how businesses operate. This is especially true for small businesses and start-ups. According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, small and start-up businesses with less than 20 workers make up approximately 89.7% of the businesses in America. This number amazes me since as co-founder of Immedion, I know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be to start your own business.
Cost is typically one of the largest barriers to entry when starting your own business. In the past, initial start-up costs were high and typically required large capital investments. From an IT perspective, that meant investing in expensive hardware and what seemed like endless amounts of software licenses. Once those costs were paid off, it was time to start paying for expensive ongoing upgrades.
Now, small businesses have access to Cloud IaaS services, which means instead of buying a server with more space than they need, they can simply sign-up for the Cloud and pay only for the compute, storage and bandwidth they need. In addition to lowering initial costs, the Cloud also fosters on-going small business growth by providing scalability. As companies grow and require more computing power, they can easily increase their computing resources to accommodate new orders, more employees and develop new products. Removing these roadblocks means that a company can grow quickly to take advantage of new opportunities that come their way.
The Cloud is also changing the way in which small businesses use their IT personnel. Instead of using precious IT staff to maintain and service equipment, those resources are now focused on developing new products or providing differentiation - not running infrastructure. Partnering with a Cloud provider also typically means better physical security and 24/7 monitoring, which would be difficult for most small businesses to pay for on their own. Plus, these small business are able to take advantage of the best practices developed and adopted by infrastructure experts.
I look forward to seeing how the Cloud continues to provide opportunities for business innovation and entrepreneurship.