While most people think of cloud computing as a relatively new phenomenon, the technology has actually been around for a couple decades. However, uptake of the technology has been slow, and relatively few companies take advantage of its benefits. Cloud computing may provide the most benefits to startups, ranging from life sciences companies to tech-focused organizations. Startups have used the technology to revolutionize business process, making operations more efficient and collaboration more convenient. While many people associate cloud technology with data storage, it has much more to offer to small businesses that are just getting their footing. The following are some of the ways in which startups can benefit from adopting cloud processes:
1. Increased security
A lot of confusion exists when it comes to network security among startups. Some professionals believe that smaller companies do not need to worry about security, while others conclude that the network can never truly be secure without a large information technology (IT) department, which is only possible among bigger corporations. In reality, hackers often target small businesses because they do tend to have networks that are less secure. However, cloud technology empowers startups to make their network extremely secure. Cloud computing security solutions provide protocols that safeguard transactions involving sensitive data. The entire point of these solutions is to ensure that third parties are unable to intercept and interpret data that is in transit. Many cloud computing companies offer around-the-clock monitoring and immediate threat response at an affordable price.
Startups do not generally stay small for long, and planning for scalability is extremely important. Without scalability in business processes, growth can be hindered even though demand for products and services exist. Cloud computing is very scalable and gives startups the flexibility they need to quickly respond to an increase in demand. In addition, the cloud makes it easy to easily expand a remote workforce so that startups can continue to grow. Companies only pay for the exact services and access that they require, so they can simply pay for additional access as needed without wasting money upfront. Furthermore, cloud technologies are self-managed, so there is no need to increase the in-house IT staff as technological demand grows. Also, scalability goes both ways, so startups that need to cut some corners can also easily reduce their spending.
3. Remote access
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote access has become more important than ever before. The cloud makes it easy for people working from home from anywhere in the world to collaborate on projects. Startups can easily create a virtual office environment with a lot of flexibility that allows operations to continue even amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Cloud providers offer a wide range of different collaboration and communication tools that employees can use, and startups may find that their employees are even more productive using them from home than in a physical office environment. The flexibility made possible by cloud technology will become even more important moving forward so that companies can continue operations regardless of stay-at-home orders.
In the modern business environment, startups require around-the-clock access to data to keep their services operational and to address the needs of customers whenever they arise. Cloud computing ensures that people can access information from anywhere at any time, provided that they have an Internet connection. Traditionally, data is stored on physical servers that can go down or be affected by anything from a power failure to a natural disaster. When servers go down, business can suffer significantly. With the cloud, this information remains protected even when disaster strikes. As a result, no productivity is lost, and there is no downtime. The cloud offers incomparable stability for startups that depend heavily on their data.
As we have already discussed, disasters happen. Whether that disaster involves hackers or a hurricane, data saved locally can become permanently lost. Such a disaster can quickly bankrupt a startup and even cause legal problems if sensitive information is involved. With cloud systems, startups never have to worry about this issue since data is saved remotely. Even if local data is disrupted, that information is always recoverable from any device with an Internet connection. While some companies may prefer to keep their data managed locally, having a cloud backup is still a smart move since this guarantees recovery of that information should the unexpected occur. This additional level of security can remove a lot of the stress associated with managing a startup since virtually nothing can cause a loss of data.
One of the most often overlooked benefits of cloud computing involves sustainability. In today’s climate, startups can gain customers by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. This commitment must involve more than a recycling program. With cloud computing, startups can reduce much of their carbon footprint by reducing their reliance on printed paper. Through the use of the cloud, all transactions and information are stored digitally. Virtual work environments can also help to reduce the environmental impact of travel to and from an office and drive energy efficiency. Maintaining on-site servers requires an incredible amount of power. The other side of the coin is the fact that using less power and reducing paper waste ultimately can help companies to save money.