The Small Business Authority released a study showing that 6 in 10 US small business owners admit that their data is not stored in a data center. Only one-third of small business owners report that they have moved to a cloud-based system.
Meanwhile, 78% of US small businesses are predicted to fully adopt cloud computing by 2020.
What needs to happen in the next 5 years for small businesses to fully adopt cloud computing? Why aren’t more small business owners moving to the cloud now? I think a lot of it has to do with misconceptions about the cloud. Small-to-medium sized businesses can see significant benefits from cloud computing:
1. It’s simple to integrate your business with the cloud
The thought of launching a brand new data-driven strategy within your company can be daunting, but the actual process is simple with a solid cloud provider. The initial set-up involves deciding which metrics are most important to your bottom line and integrating your systems.
28% of small business owners say they have not adopted cloud computing because of lack of knowledge of how to implement data analytics.
The good news is—if you choose a good cloud computing software—you won’t have to specialize in the implementation process. If your cloud provider does not make implementation simple for your business, then look for a better option. The best cloud computing companies increase productivity, save time, and can make implementation easy.
2. The cloud saves time for CEOs and managers
42% of small business owners state that time is the reason they have not adopted cloud computing. Having data available on a real-time basis in the cloud saves time for everyone in a company.
Brent Bennett, CEO of Spectra Management, used to spend 3-4 hours a month collecting data from spreadsheets, Quickbooks, and other systems. Once Spectra Management moved to the cloud-based Grow scoreboard, all their systems were aggregated in one place. Brent and his team are now able to see data on a real-time basis, instead of manually collecting the data monthly.
3. It’s easier to collaborate in the cloud
When all employees have access to a company scoreboard and can see the company KPIs fluctuate on a daily basis, everyone is involved in the progress of the company. Managers no longer have to compile data to present to the team—the data is available to everyone, all the time.
Time is better spent on strategy and problem-solving, rather than collecting data.
In addition, when all your critical metrics are available in the cloud, it’s easier to employ and manage virtual teams. Information is accessible from any device, from any location globally—as long as you have an internet connection.
4. Cloud computing is more secure than in-house technology
The data centers that power the cloud employ highly specialized security teams and methods to protect the data. Most small businesses do not have the budget and security infrastructure to maintain highly specialized methods. Cloud-based services, like Netflix, use Amazon Web Service data centers to maintain the Netflix cloud infrastructure. Cloud computing is actually more secure than on-premise technology because of the enhanced security resources available at data centers.
In the coming years, it will be essential for SMBs to adopt cloud computing to remain competitive. The productivity and time saving benefits are valuable; the value of CEOs seeing their data in one place, updating all the time, is unmeasurable. Access to that kind of quality information allows CEOs to make quicker decisions and lead with confidence.