Cloud Storage: A Big Solution for Small Businesses

 

You’re small, and you’re a business – oh, and you need a storage solution. It may be tempting to ignore that need, but you know the reality is that it won’t solve itself. Moreover, it’s obvious that the more you expand and grow and take on new projects and customers, the greater your need for reliable data storage will be. Unless, that is, you choose to put your data on reliable cloud servers.

Yes, the cloud may be the solution your small business needs for its growing data storage needs. If you have misconceptions about cloud storage only being for Big Businesses with Big Data or Big Sites and Big Budgets, then it’s time to free yourself from that sort of thinking and learn a little bit about how the cloud is already helping myriad small businesses solve their storage problems and accomplish their goals.

We Fix IT for You

Certainly you could continue storing everything locally. You could keep those dusty old filing cabinets with their byzantine organizational system – if you don’t mind your administrative assistants or interns burning an hour of productivity every time they need to find something. You could also keep your own servers and hard drives for all of your data. But these physical assets aren’t invincible. They might seem like they are because your business operates fine with them most days, so you just don’t think about them. But what happens when they break?

Then you’ve got a problem – one you either need someone internally to fix or one you need to find and hire someone to take care of. If you’re a small business, then you probably don’t have the budget to employ an expansive IT team that knows exactly how to fix any tech problems that arise from your on-site servers. And even if you do have a hot shot IT professional on the payroll, can you realistically say that he or she really will be available to get your servers back online if they crash at 2 am on a holiday? Probably not.

With the cloud, you don’t have to worry about those sorts of what ifs. You’ll get a remote server company that has an entire workforce of tech experts available 24/7/365 to monitor, perform maintenance and – in the unfortunate event of a server problem – fix any outages quickly and efficiently. You don’t have to worry if someone is looking out for you when you choose cloud hosting. You won’t have to worry about whether or not problems will be fixed in a hurry. Someone will be watching your cloud servers, and they will be ready to spring into action whenever they’re needed.  Isn’t that the kind of peace of mind you could use in your life?

Location, Location, Location

Local servers do more than just break and require attention from qualified professionals that you may not have on your staff. They also do something else problematic. Not sure what it is? The answer is easy. If you have local servers take a quick glance at them. You may not even realize it, but you just saw the problem. They’re taking up space. Your space.

Your office space – not unlike your IT budget – is not infinite. As your business grows, however, your data storage needs will begin to seem boundless. This is a good thing, though; it means you’re successful. The troublesome byproduct of that success is more servers taking up more space in your office building. You may not need that space right now, but you may very well need it tomorrow. If you ever need to expand your business, restructure departments, bring in new people, etc. you’ll need to find physical space, so why not free up room for it now? And why not do it by switching to the cloud, which has a host of other benefits for you as well?

IT’s Raining Money

You’re a business owner, so let’s talk about the one benefit you truly care most about: saving money. The concept of the cloud may be a new one to you, but for small businesses, saving money is as old as time. Moving your servers up into the cloud is a modern way to maintain a healthy bottom line and free up budget for other expenditures.

Buying your own storage space is like buying a car. It’s not cheap. In fact, it’s downright expensive.  There is an enormous upfront cost that you will never recoup. Sure, you could sell your servers down the road once they’ve outlived their usefulness, but you’ll never come close to recouping the cost you initially put out to acquire them. Tech hardware, like cars, does not appreciate the way property does; it depreciates. The more you use it and the longer you hold onto it, the less it’s worth.

If you’re doing a lot of business, then you’re going to be using your servers a lot. And unless you’re a bleeding edge technology company, then you have to spend responsibly on your tech, which means you need it to last. You don’t want to – nor can you afford to – constantly upgrade to the latest and greatest. You want to plug and play and forget about your servers, assuming they will blissfully run problem-free for many years to come.  But the longer your servers sit in your office processing requests, the more value they’re going to lose, meaning the less you’re going to recoup if you attempt to sell them second-hand years down the road when you upgrade to something newer.

There is an alternative: renting storage space. When you make the move to the cloud instead of making space to move more servers into your office, you don’t buy anything. There is no sticker shock. Instead, you subscribe to storage space located offsite. How much cloud storage do you need? Rent that amount every month. Flexible plans offer different levels of storage so that you get what you need and aren’t stuck buying up a bunch of extra space that you now own just in case you end up needing it.

In fact, you won’t own anything, which means no buying costly equipment, no worrying about where to store you servers and no worrying about server depreciation.

Tipping the Scales

But what if you do need more space than you initially signed on for? What if you need less? That’s simple; you just scale up or down. If you owned your servers and found yourself running leaner and in less need of all the space you’d purchased, you’d have no choice but to sit on useless hardware or sell it at a loss. If you’re in the cloud, however, you can just scale your storage plan down.

And when your small business lands the next big idea and breaks through, scaling back up and increasing your cloud storage capacity is easy and affordable.

Small businesses don’t need big expenses and big problems. In fact, they can’t operate successfully with them.  They need smart, lean and flexible options, and that’s a perfectly concise definition of what cloud hosting is. You’ll save money, free up office space, gain a reliable team of IT professionals and save money doing it.

You can’t afford to keep thinking about the cloud. It’s time to make the move today and save your small business, well, big.

Image source: SME-Blog

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