Restructuring Your Small Business With Cloud Technology

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Restructuring Your Small Business With Cloud Technology

Cloud Computing

Photo Credit: photospin.com

Cloud Technology has fast become the perfect fit for many small businesses. By virtue of computer resources shared over a network, the cloud has opened up the door to more efficient and cost effective ways for the small business owner to effectively manage business processes, cut costs and streamline their business structure. By moving all or part of your key resources into the cloud, more time and money is available to invest in your company’s growth.

The “Green” Aspect of Cloud Computing

With less hardware to buy and fewer applications taking up local resources, many businesses utilizing the cloud produce up to 65% less carbon than comparative businesses using similar data centers in-house. In addition, asset disposal is no longer an issue when equipment would normally end its usefulness. By initiating some simple procedures, even such things as paper waste can be reduced in the cloud.

Business Applications and the Cloud

For the small business owner, the cloud is a pool of computing resources accessed through the internet that you don’t have to set up or support. Running your business applications on these multi-tenant platforms means you could literally limit your in-house network to a few mobile devices. They also minimize the costs of hardware and the subscriptions for your business application are less expensive than purchasing multiple licenses for desktop software.

Even as the selection of online business applications continues to expand rapidly, many of the programs needed by the average small business owner are already available. Accounting applications that manage payables, receivables, billing and payroll are available now in subscription and pay-per-use formats. In today’s mobile-centric business world even budget planning, forecasting, sales management and marketing can all be done in the cloud.

Embracing the Mobile Market

It is estimated that by the end of 2013, over 50% of the US population that use mobile phones will own a smartphone or other mobile device. This will be a huge market to tap into for some small businesses. The cloud becomes the entry point for various marketing opportunities to this segment. In addition, with the rise of credit card readers for tablets and smartphones, merchant accounts that allow for mobile credit card processing have become a great way for small business owners to streamline their sales funnel and increase productivity.

Enhanced Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages cloud technology has to offer is access and availability. The data and applications stored in the cloud are available to you and your employees 24/7 and can be accessed from anywhere and any device that allows you to connect to the internet. This can reduce the need for physical office space which can also significantly cut overhead costs if you decide to initiate a “work from anywhere culture” in the workplace.

The ability to maintain massive amounts of data in the cloud and to sync up with mobile devices means you and your team can have access to the information you need whenever you need it. No more delaying meetings or presentations because someone forgot to bring a file.

Matching Up Small Business with the Cloud

Every small business should evaluate what the cloud can do to help streamline their business structure and operational procedures. It’s easy to make small initial steps to the cloud at first and expand from there when necessary. There are even small businesses that are starting out cloud-based because the features continue to evolve and make the move even more appealing to a wider variety of businesses.

About the author:

Zoey Maldonado

 

Zoe Maldonado is a freelance writer and blogger for TechBreach who enjoys writing about all things mobile and electronic and spending time with her very active twin boys.

 

 

 

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Comments (12)

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  1. I have been using cloud based technology as the go between for much of my writing and photo work. At this point I don't know how I did all this without it.

    • Geek Girl says:

      Susan has been saying the same thing. I have not reached that point yet, but I can see it on the not-too-distant horizon.

  2. Trinidad says:

    Agreed! Cloud Tech has really allowed me to up level my business. Great Post!

    • Geek Girl says:

      I like the 'Pin It' button from your post. Installed it. 🙂

  3. JeriWB says:

    I'm still a bit clueless when it comes to using cloud technology. I'm not phobic when it comes to technology, but I guess some part of my brain still likes the reassurance that comes from plugging things in to download and upload. I need to get over that 😉

    • Geek Girl says:

      LOL I can sooo relate….

  4. findingourwaynow says:

    The use of cloud technology has really helped me in regards to storing my art and photography etc. I'm with Jon, I don't know what I would do without it. 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      I can understand that with all your art work.

  5. projectwhitespace says:

    What a great guest post, Cheryl and Zoe. I'm approaching a time where I'm thinking about becoming a small business and so this is right up my alley. I already use some software products in the cloud, and I expect that once I go full blown, I will just start out in the cloud. Like it was written here, it's cheaper and more efficient.

    • Geek Girl says:

      Yes. My husband uses the cloud for a lot of his work. He is the trail blazer… 🙂

  6. Jeannette Paladino says:

    Excellent post — right on target. If you have an Apple iPhone, as I am, you're already using cloud technology. If I make an appointment on my computer calendar it shows up on my iPhone and vice versa. That's just one small example.

  7. namirusso says:

    I suppose when I figure out how to use my iCloud account, it could be a tremendous asset. Until now, I had no idea what it was good for. Thanks!