Learn how the cloud can help your small business

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As a business owner, you most likely know or are at least aware of the cloud and its capabilities. That being said, do you know how to properly use the cloud and get the most out of it for your company?

If you don’t have a specific background in technology, then you may find this feat to be somewhat difficult. After all, there are different components to the cloud. If you’re running a small business, then you may not have the manpower to adequately assist you.

“Small businesses are typically comfortable with outsourcing non-strategic tasks, such as email, payroll and fleet services. Moving to the cloud fits in with this approach and philosophy,” says Michelle Yuenger, manager of business applications at CenturyLink.

RELATED TOPIC: Some Canadian businesses going to new heights with the cloud

Benefiting from the cloud

Though an incentive, cost savings shouldn’t be the sole financial strategy for moving your small business over to the cloud. For example, a greater portion of capital expenses can become more predictable operating expenses, meaning any savings could be used for reinvestments and more cloud capabilities.

Choosing a provider  

Choosing the right provider to assist your company with the cloud is an important factor to consider. Specifically, you need to understand what a provider is and isn’t going to do for you and your business.

You’ll want to find out if the staff working with you is local (i.e. in the United States or offshore). Will you have a specific staff assigned to your company? It’s also recommended that you find out the hours in which a provider is willing to work with you; not everyone is available 24/7.

One of the most critical questions to consider, Yuenger adds: “What are the consequences if the provider fails to solve the issue?”

Learning about security

While most providers will have good security measures for various scenarios, if your particular business is over sensitive when it comes to protection, then you may choose to be more selective when hiring a provider.

Don’t be afraid to do extensive research on these providers. Specifically, look at a provider’s financial health to assess the longevity of the company and to prevent paying for services you don’t really need or want.

Most importantly, don’t pay for security if you don’t need it.

Take your time

Migrating to the cloud is a big step, so don’t rush into it — take your time! Before you make any changes, identify what your specific needs are for your business, as well as the type of support that is going to help your company prosper.

RELATED TOPIC: Canadian companies know the business of cloud phone systems

[SOURCE: Forbes]

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