Cloud Computing for Small Businesses


When some small business owners hear the words “interactive data reporting” and online database,” they typically think it will be a large, costly and time-consuming implementation that may not have a large payoff. Now, however, more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are testing the waters, according to report by BusinessWeek, and they’re finding it surprisingly cost-effective.

Many SMBs are jumping straight from minimal computer technology to full-on cloud integration, according to the news source, in order to tackle problems such as duplicate sales records and missing data. Online database software allows small businesses to automate a large amount of their data gathering and analysis while focusing on their product. All expenditure costs normally associated with servers are also in a bundled price, dramatically reducing potential costs that would normally burden IT budgets.

“I’m not in the business of maintaining [data centers and] infrastructure,” Leo Minervini, the CIO of a small bakery chain, told BusinessWeek after his company’s cloud conversion. “It was basically pen and paper up until two months ago.”

While there is still hesitancy among owners to fully adjust to a cloud structure, it hasn’t stopped companies from at least trying it out on certain aspects of their business. According to a report by IBM, 72 percent of companies are utilizing the cloud in at least some form.

Even though smaller businesses typically don’t house large volumes of data, the benefits of a cloud database go beyond hardware savings. Accessibility, automation and efficiency are some of the more important advantages that come from a custom online database. Having a centralized location for information, sales numbers, orders and invoices, companies no longer have to worry about accidentally losing or mishandling leads and information, and these improvements are starting to influence decision-makers.

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