Using cloud services is a cost-effective way to enhance your overall IT performance.  You access applications or programs from the Internet rather than storing them in your computers. But to be sure using the Cloud is right for your business, you should identify the benefits it will provide.

10 Questions To Ask About The Benefits Your Business Can Gain From Cloud Computing

Will cloud computing benefit our business continuity and disaster recovery?

If you run a small business, you probably worry whether you’ll have access to your data if your office were flooded or destroyed due to a disaster – or if you could retrieve data that one of your employees accidentally deleted.

When your IT system and files are backed up to a cloud-based storage solution, you can access them wherever you have an internet connection. This ensures that your business can continue running even if your data is lost, stolen, or if your office is shut down for any reason.

It can take days, weeks, or even months to transfer data and records from one system to another. Sometimes it just can’t be done. But with virtualization and cloud solutions, your IT system can be transitioned quickly and easily.

Does using the Cloud provide the increased flexibility and scalability we need?

Cloud-based software solutions are ideal for the changing needs of your business. With software solutions like Microsoft Office 365 that is based on the number of users you have, you can easily scale up or down to give your business the agility it needs.

Operational flexibility is a big driver for small and mid-sized organizations and using the Cloud provides this. You can scale up your cloud solution in busy times or scale down when business is slow. You can add users, applications, or storage as needed. This is particularly helpful if you work in a seasonal business like construction.

Can the Cloud cut some of our IT costs?

With no need for capital expenditures, your business can still access both hardware and software solutions you depend on. You can enjoy a subscription-based payment model that lets you pay as you go rather than using up your hard-earned cash.

Will our software get updated if we use the Cloud?

One of the best things about cloud computing is that your servers are housed off-premise and your IT provider can automatically provide software updates as well as security updates. You won’t have to worry about maintaining your system. Everything is managed by your technology solutions and cloud service providers.

What about collaboration?  Will it be easier if we use cloud computing?

With the right cloud solutions, your teams can access, edit, and share documents at any time, and from anywhere. This means they can do more together, and complete projects faster and more efficiently. Cloud-based workflows and file sharing applications allow employees to make edits in real time and give them full visibility into their shared projects.

We can work from anywhere, right?

With an internet connection, and when your data and files are stored in a secure cloud-based data center, you can work from wherever you are. With most cloud services offering mobile applications, you and your team can access and work on your documents from your mobile devices.  This will increase your productivity and your employees’ work satisfaction.

We need help with document control. Can using the Cloud help us stay organized?

It’s true that the more people who collaborate on documents, the tighter your document control measures should be.  However, before the Cloud, I’m sure you remember that you had to send files back and forth using email attachments. This often caused confusion with document versions and, at times, you ended up with different file content and formats.

This won’t happen when you store and edit documents in the Cloud. With cloud computing, all of your files are stored centrally, so everyone sees the most updated version, even if they’re working overseas and in different time zones. Document control is enhanced and so much easier when you rely on the right cloud solutions.

What about security? Will our data be secure in the Cloud?

Cloud computing provides even greater security. When your data is stored in the Cloud and a laptop is stolen, you can wipe the data from it so it won’t get into the wrong hands. Additionally, your files will be encrypted and accessible to only your designated users. Your data will be protected 24/7 with continual backups and monitoring by your IT provider. So, no more worries about lost data due to criminals, accidental deletions, tropical storms, or hurricanes.

Will using the Cloud increase our competitiveness?

If there were only one thing you could do to be more competitive it would be moving your IT to the Cloud. This offers you the same enterprise-class technology that larger businesses use, but for an affordable price. Its pay-as-you-go applications mean that you can compete with larger competitors but stay lean and agile at the same time. Cloud computing helps you enhance your operational efficiencies, so you can deliver your services faster and more effectively.

We like to protect the environment. I hear using the Cloud is environmentally friendly. Is that right?

When you use cloud computing you only use the energy you need so you don’t leave a large carbon footprint. And when you use Hardware-as-a-Service where your servers, data center, and network components are stored in the Cloud, this is a very sustainable solution when it comes to the environment. You won’t have to pay for the cooling needed to keep a server room from overheating.