Cloud computing for small businesses promises flexibility, mobility, and scalability and makes collaboration, particularly for remote and hybrid workforces, much easier. It comes as no surprise, then, that it is growing at such an incredible rate.
The cloud computing industry is projected to grow from $371.4 billion in 2020 to $832.1 billion by 2025, at an impressive CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 17.5 percent. The use of cloud technology has skyrocketed in recent years, with SMBs investing in exciting new products and services that make it easier for them to instantly generate, process, and analyze data to improve business performance. Here’s a look at some of the cloud trends experts predict will play prominent roles moving forward.
Cloud Computing for Small Businesses is Growing Big, Fast
SMBs have long faced three critical challenges when seeking to grow sustainably:
- Access to capital and skills.
- Scalability and management control as the business grows.
- Innovation and optimization as the business matures.
Businesses that use cloud technology frequently see more rapid growth and deliver significantly higher gross profits than those that don’t. Moving tools and applications to the cloud frees up time and other resources, streamlining operations and enabling access to new markets and revenue streams.
Benefits of Cloud Computing for Small Businesses
There are dozens of reasons SMBs are embracing cloud technology. Let’s look at some of the most prevalent.
- Unburdens IT staff who are already swamped and don’t want or need to be tied up by “server babysitting” duties. Instead of spending time fixing and upgrading physical servers, they can pass off these hardware-related tasks to someone else and focus on core projects.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which is easy to use and collaboration-friendly, is winning converts who love web-based services that speed up internal processes.
- The ability to store vast amounts of data offsite is a welcome option for businesses that don’t want or can’t afford to invest in an expensive storage network.
- Reduced operating expenses. With cloud services, you simply rent what you need. There’s typically no need to pay in advance for hardware and software licenses, making it easier for cloud services to be approved by management.
- Hosted email benefits are a key driver for many SMBs who don’t want to manage an email server. The move to hosted email increases mailbox storage quotas and dramatically reduces the demands email puts on IT’s time.
- A growing cloud acceptance as senior management is increasingly more comfortable signing off on cloud-computing projects.
- Outsourcing cloud services has become more affordable, particularly with respect to hardware and human resources costs.
- Cloud storage is much more secure than an onsite server. That makes it an essential service for modern SMBs who don’t have the in-house staff to run an effective security team. Cloud services are available 24/7 and are monitored closely so problems can be fixed as they occur.
As a result of these and other significant improvements, some small businesses have even completely discontinued hosting everything in-house and are instead opting to use cloud services to keep their systems and data safe.
Looking Ahead: One Clear Trend
So, what can we expect to see in 20 years’ time? Where technology takes us remains to be seen, but the role of cloud computing in areas like a remote workforce is clear. Hosting most data and servers in the cloud will transform the working lives of everyone in a business, not just IT. And companies will discover their systems are becoming more reliable, flexible, and affordable thanks to their adoption of cloud services.
Cloud computing for small businesses is quickly becoming the foundation of remote work. The coming years will see more enterprises using the cloud to make remote work and collaboration more effortless than ever before. Employees can access business data, attend meetings, and manage ongoing projects from any location and on any device. This alone is proof that cloud adoption should be viewed as a long-term strategy, not a temporary fix. In other words, now’s the perfect time to take advantage of all the benefits that cloud computing has to offer.