Efficiency is the buzzword in business today, as companies are generally trying to do more than ever with less than ever. No longer can entrepreneurs afford to spend money on staff, equipment or services that don’t add value to the bottom line. Nor can they afford to spend time on tasks that could be outside of their areas of expertise or easily outsourced.
As a result, companies look to alternatives, such as Bring Your Own Device policies. One solution to both issues, however, is cloud computing. Using the cloud to store and manage company data helps entrepreneurs, especially those in small business, maximize their efficiency.
One of the major benefits of cloud computing is that it truly allows entrepreneurs to work from anywhere, anytime. Consider this scenario: you fly across the country to present your services to a potential client – only to discover that you forgot an important fact sheet that could make or break the deal. While you could contact someone back at the office (if you have staff) to send you the information, if it’s stored in the cloud, you can simply access the information from wherever you happen to be. So rather than asking the prospect to wait for you to get important information to them, you can pull it on the spot and, possibly, have a better chance of landing the deal.
Flexible computing in the cloud also extends to the devices you can use. When your data is stored in the cloud, and your phone, tablet and computer operate on the same system, you can potentially access data from all devices. For entrepreneurs looking to maximize efficiency, this means that, at any given moment, you can access the information you need using the device you have with you – and securely share data between your devices.
These days, businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to improve efficiency while cutting costs – and cloud computing is just one way to accomplish both goals. In a traditional networking environment, a business must have physical space for the server (or servers) and, in most cases, an onsite staff devoted to managing the network and the data it contains.
With cloud computing, though, the need for an onsite server diminishes – taking with it the extra space required for storage and the high utility bills from operating and cooling the machine. This cost savings allows entrepreneurs to divert funds to other areas of the business, improving cost efficiency. For startups, these savings are significant, allowing them to focus on their ideas and building the business instead of building infrastructure.
Efficient Knowledge Base
As almost any entrepreneur will tell you, it’s practically impossible to operate a business today without a computer and a reliable network. However, keeping your network up-to-date and in good working order is often outside the scope of knowledge of the average entrepreneur.
Switching to a cloud computing model, though, takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. Instead of spending time researching servers and managing the upkeep, your cloud vendor does the work for you. And when things go wrong (which they almost inevitably will), rather than spending time troubleshooting and repairing problems, you can expect that the vendor will address the issue. This frees up your time to focus on running your business.
No Reinventing the Wheel
You need a website, but maintaining a dedicated server to host your website is impractical – and generally cost-prohibitive. Cloud computing has made it possible to have an attractive, fully functional website up and operating quickly. Entrepreneurs can enlist the services of a website developer who uses the cloud to store your website information – and may even provide design services, shopping carts and more. Again, instead of spending money and time to handle these tasks in house, using the cloud allows entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best, efficiently managing their time and growing their businesses.
Cloud computing is just one way that entrepreneurs can maximize their efficiency, both in terms of time and money. While the cloud does represent some risks in terms of security, and an added expense for a small business or new entrepreneur, the increased productivity and overall savings far outweigh the risks.