How the Cloud Changed the Game for Small Businesses
Of all the transformative technological innovations shifting the small business landscape over the last decade or so, cloud computing is, without a doubt, the undisputed champion.
Operations, savings, and developments which, once upon a time, would have seemed out of the grasp of business owners, have all become attainable thanks to the introduction of cloud computing.
Now, there are more small businesses than ever before, and each has the capacity to keep up with the competition by using the technology on offer.
That’s how things are different now, but how did we get to this point? How did cloud computing so profoundly re-sculpt the landscape for thousands of small businesses?
More Players in the Game
Before we see how the game that we call ‘running a business’ has transformed in the shadow of the cloud, we first need to acknowledge another fundamental change the cloud has enabled: starting a business has become a far more accessible pursuit.
A world that was once reserved for people with money and premises and servers can now be accessed by anybody with a computer and plenty of drive. Applications such as Google Drive and Dropbox provide these newer businesses with the stepping stones they need to slowly and surely realise their dream, while scaling up their business.
Thanks to cloud applications, it’s also possible for people to start their business from anywhere in the world, tools such as bespoke CRMs and sales software hosted on the cloud for ease and affordability.
The Cloud is Everywhere
It’s not just everywhere geographically that the cloud has managed to reach – we’re also used to seeing it in our everyday lives. It’s not unusual for something we use in our home lives to be repurposed for business, but with the cloud it arguably happened in reverse.
What started in the workplace now pervades our daily schedule, helping us to host photos of our loved ones, log in to different applications with a single ID and access software that we want to use, without paying enterprise prices – such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud and the Microsoft Office suite.
Suddenly, everybody is more confident in the cloud thanks to their daily encounters with it, leading to many employees and business owners becoming experienced in their spare time – again, making business more accessible to everybody.
Welcoming Remote Working
With Brexit over the horizon, we should definitely be glad for what the cloud has brought to the table in terms of remote working. By improving connectivity and communications, as well as forming the foundations for bespoke CRM solutions and software alike, the cloud has enabled us to work from anywhere – and in turn, businesses can tap into new talent further afield.
This has transformed the 9-5 from the drudgery of marching to the office, into the ability to make employees happy by allowing them to work flexibly from home or even their favourite coffee shop.
More Money in the Coffers
The cloud is also the indisputable champion of cost-saving measures – not just because remote working alleviates the need for large expenditure on office space.
At every level of the business, cloud computing is helping to save money: the IT department no longer has to buy and maintain on-site servers, teams can be more productive using more affordable bespoke CRM solutions, and the security available protects the business’ interests from harm.
Perhaps the best aspect of cloud computing, and the reason that it’s still changing the game for businesses to this day, is the nature of its ability to evolve. Thanks to innovative companies and individuals, the cloud is constantly being pushed to meet new requirements, with an increasing number of apps, software, hardware and bespoke solutions being built. New uses for the cloud and its connectivity are constantly being discovered.
In short, cloud computing has given business owners of all shapes, sizes and experiences the tools to empower their teams, take control of their bottom line and channel their ambition into the singular goal of succeeding at business.
Gone are the days of huge IT expenses for equipment, or the need for thousands of pounds of investment just to start a business. The cloud has opened the game up to everybody to play – and we love it for that very reason.