Many small businesses are having a hard time staying open. Businesses today must not only be tough, but also lean. They need to learn to survive with less resources and compete with other businesses that are out for the same customers. However, customers, on the other hand, expect more from businesses. They should be able to provide them the best goods and services at the right price point. So, as a small business, how do you keep with with such demands? Well, one advantage you have today is technology. Technology has always allowed the small players to be competitive and one technology all business should consider is cloud computing.
Cloud computing service for small business makes a lot of sense. For one thing, it takes very little capital and the “pay-as-you-go” models helps free up resources for other important projects. However, is this right for your business? Well, let’s take a look at the key considerations business owners should think about before moving to the cloud.
Many cloud computing providers are pushing to get into the small and medium sized businesses because these are the types of organizations that can benefit the most from this technology. With cloud computing, even a two-person operation could gain access to technologies that traditionally were only available to large-scale enterprises. Now, the larger the company, then it would be more cost-effective for them to simply have their own networks and systems. However, even large companies can find ways to integrate cloud computing. For example, for companies that have sales people on the road for most of the year, cloud computing could be integrated into their routine to help them speed up the sales cycle.
Cloud computing providers are always touting how the cloud can save hundreds or thousands of dollars. While that’s true when you look at it on a monthly or yearly basis, there are still other costs involved with moving to the cloud, specifically, migration costs. Before you sign over the dotted line, make sure that you ask specifically how much integration is going to cost you, assuming you are moving from a non-cloud system to a cloud system or if you are switching providers. This might make the entire process more expensive, not to mention, if you have to shut down for a time, then this might cost more in terms of opportunity costs.
The last thing you need to consider is support for the cloud computing system. At one point or another, you will find yourself asking some technical questions. You need to consider how urgent it is that you immediately get service, should something go wrong. You should not only ask a cloud computing provider about their up-time guarantees, but also how they answer service calls. Are they available 24/7 and if you call them, will you immediately get a person on the other line? Or will you have to wait during certain hours of the day or week to get help?
These are just some key considerations if you are thinking about moving to cloud-based IT services. There may be other things you need to evaluate, depending on the type of business you have.