There’s no question that data is piling up in small businesses. The question is, do you want to be on top of it or under it? Here are a few scenarios where cloud services can help solve data accumulation and management issues and help you make better use of the data you do accumulate.
- You don’t have the cash to have a full-time IT person on staff. You want a platform for data backup, storage, and sharing that is as easy as possible to use. You don’t want to have to pay someone to come in every few days to switch backup tapes and clean up the archives, or worse, reformat creaky old storage servers. Today, cloud storage services are inexpensive and reliable, making it possible for most small businesses to get all their data in one easily accessed place. Your IT person can now focus on the problems that crop up with desktop and network technology.
- There was an accident with your on-site server. Most small businesses don’t have “hot” backup sites waiting to activate in case a tree falls on the office and crushes four desks and your database. That’s why, if your data is backed up automatically by an offsite cloud service, you can start recovery right away, from wherever your employees may be. If you think investing in online backup is too expensive, think about how much it would cost to replace that database—and replicate all the data in it.
- You’re unable to easily share files. You have limited staff. It’s not good if the only way to find that critical sales presentation is to call on the person who has it on her computer, even though she’s at home with the flu. Email is not a storage system, and it’s not efficient for sending large files. With cloud-based services, it’s a simple case of having your files synced so they are everywhere they need to be. That opens many more doors for collaborating with far-flung customers, remote offices and partners, as well as making data available to more platforms and services within your company.
Businesses are deluged in data, but you don’t have to drown in it. With cloud services, you can manage it responsibly and with minimal effort and cost.