For a company that’s just starting out, it makes sense to automate as many basic processes as you can and focus on the things that will make you a success. That’s where the cloud might help.
An overwhelming number of small businesses report that cloud (internet-based) services save them time and money – just under 90%, according to a recent survey by Rackspace Hosting, Manchester Business School and Vanson Bourne. And half claim that such cloud computing services helped them grow their businesses.
So instead of buying, installing and maintaining software and servers, think about turning over at least some of your infrastructure to a service provider, particularly if you’re just starting out and building your infrastructure from scratch.
So what’s possible from a cloud services provider? Storage and collaboration services like Dropbox. Billing and invoicing programs like OfficeTime. Sales and customer accounts and tracking from the likes of Salesforce. Payroll and accounting tools like those from Intuit. And office productivity apps from the likes of Microsoft and Google.
What’s more, cloud services mean you always have the latest versions and features. And having your data in one place makes it easier to mine it for insights.
The cloud gives small businesses one big advantage – the ability to approach the technological sophistication of their biggest competitors for a fraction of the cost and effort.
Adapted from Can Cloud Services Improve Small Business Profits? by Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.