Cloud computing appears to be everywhere these days, and with good reason: 93 percent of financial decision-makers believed the cloud to be integral to future business success and 68 percent of those surveyed had either implemented some type of cloud storage or had planned to do so in the future, found a 2012 survey commissioned by Google. Cloud computing is poised to offer small and medium-sized businesses a range of benefits, from reduced costs to a streamlined workflow that can increase productivity.
Benefits of the Cloud
Using cloud backup services speeds up the backup process and enables automation that can keep employees working on projects that require their skill and capture their interest. Additional benefits of implementing a cloud-based solution include:
- Offsite Storage: Protect your data from threats such as floods, fires, hardware failure and rogue employees by storing it offsite. Offsite storage adds a level of redundancy to data management that has practical implications and can ease your mind.
- Reduced Costs: Without the cloud, you would need to pay up front for a server large enough to handle all data storage needs, plus the personnel needed to maintain the server. With a cloud system, you pay for only the capacity you need and increase your storage plan as your needs grow. You can use the money saved from this pay as you go model to fund new development, purchase wish list equipment or expand in a new direction. Additionally, because costs are level unless your needs change, you can forecast expenses more accurately.
- Improved Efficiency: Employees can automate backups to the cloud, ensuring that continuous backups occur throughout the workday. With all data backup up regularly and systematically, employees do not need to spend time organizing their own data backups. Additionally, easy-to-use cloud interfaces make searching for stored data easier and faster.
- Free up Staff Time: Automated backups free up staff time for more valuable projects. Especially for IT staff, who may have been dedicated to managing data, a reduced workflow means that staff can handle more complex, hands-on projects that require their level of skill.
- Secure: Online backups employ multiple security measures, such as encrypting data, using firewalls, requiring authentication and performing 24/7 monitoring for security breaches. Additionally, the data center itself has rigid security measures to protect your data.
- Quick Data Recovery: If something does go wrong, you can recover your data quickly with the aid of your cloud vendor. A cloud vendor’s service level agreement will provide more details about how you can recover data in the event of data loss.
Compared with in-house backups, which your team might perform weekly or nightly, the cloud captures a greater percentage of your business data and does so in a way that does not disrupt employee workflow. You can focus on getting work done without spending time actively managing data backup. There are many different cloud vendors who offer packages aimed at medium and large businesses. A careful review of vendor options can help you determine which meets your business needs.