How Exactly Does Cloud Computing Help Small Businesses?

Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

Cloud-based technology is helpful for getting businesses of all sizes off the ground. It can also do some amazing things like automate processes or use AI machine learning to overcome challenging tasks. Cloud computing has seen massive growth over the past couple of years, but we can’t help but feel like it’s also become a buzzword that is starting to be misunderstood.

So in this post, we’re going to clarify what cloud computing really means and how it helps small businesses.

Cloud computing isn’t magic – it’s just the internet

First, let’s talk about what cloud computing actually is. To put it into technical terms, cloud computing is the delivery of IT resources and services over the internet. In most cases, it has some kind of price attached to it.

But what does this mean in basic technological terms?

Think of it this way; imagine you have a really old computer. It can’t really do much because it’s about 20 years old, but it can do basic things like receive text and images over the internet. If you try to make it calculate something, the CPU can’t handle all of the instructions and will take a long time to do certain tasks. So instead of using your old computer, cloud computing would make use of another computer that is far more powerful to complete the task.

Cloud computing in a nutshell is really just sending a complex problem to a powerful computer, and then you get the result back. In the context of your small business, it’s like taking advantage of powerful computers to do demanding tasks, but you don’t need to spend thousands on actually buying computer hardware.

So how does software go into the cloud?

Cloud-based software essentially lets you interface with these powerful machines. For instance, cloud backup solutions are basically just huge computers with lots of harddrive storage in them. When you store something, it’s saved onto a hard drive somewhere on the internet at a secure location instead of your own PC.

Similarly, cloud HR software under the hood is a bunch of complex data storage solutions and calculations, but it’s how you interface with that data that makes it worth investing money on. Cloud HR software drastically simplifies many of the HR-related tasks that your business might be involved with, but it can offload the calculations and data storage to a more secure server. It also means that you can access that data from virtually any internet-connected computer, be it a smartphone or a powerful desktop computer.

What does this all mean for my small business?

Here’s the simple explanation: cloud computing helps your small business by offloading difficult and expensive tasks. Is hiring an accountant out of your budget? Use cloud accounting software to perform most of those calculations. Are you running out of networked storage space? Consider renting online servers and backup solutions instead.

The goal of cloud computing is to make complex and expensive computing tasks cheaper. If your business is spending a lot of money on technology, then cloud computing could change that.

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