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How the Cloud Can Benefit Small Businesses

MSP & the cloudThere has been much buzz about the cloud in recent years and how it benefits big businesses, especially those with large storage and computing needs. Yet, small and medium-sized businesses can also realize great benefits from utilizing cloud resources.

Here are three ways small to medium-size businesses can benefit from leveraging an off-site, cloud resource.

Minimize Deployment Times and Increase Scalability

In the past, it was necessary for businesses to procure hardware and software systems to use as servers. It took time for the vendor and the IT department to install and deploy the necessary computers and software.

Now with cloud offerings available from service providers, businesses can be up and running within a very short time. The other benefit to using the cloud from a managed service provider (MSP) is increased scalability. The computing power can grow as the company grows or shrink accordingly. The customer only pays for what is used. Because it can grow as the company grows, there’s no need to purchase new equipment or software that can quickly become outdated.

Predictable Budget and Reduced Cost

Computer servers tend to be expensive. They require maintenance, upgrades, personnel, and other costs. No matter how knowledgeable and efficient the IT staff is, servers can and will have downtime issues. Because of their unpredictable nature, it’s hard to budget for data servers.

On the other hand, cloud services have various pricing levels and models. This can be attractive to small and medium-sized businesses with strict budgets. In addition, the business only pays for what the business uses, and payment plans make it easy to meet specific company needs and budgets.

Easier Online Collaboration and Coordination

One of the greatest benefits to working in a cloud environment is the ability to coordinate efforts on data and documents. No longer do employees have to email files to other team members, customers, or vendors. Files can be modified immediately and in real time. This allows for efficient collaboration and enables the company to be more flexible and agile in response to customer needs.

By utilizing the cloud, small and medium-sized businesses are able to take advantage of increased savings due to reduced cost, resources, and waste. Companies no longer have to worry about purchasing equipment that will quickly become outdated and overburdened. By leveraging the cloud, companies can focus on getting the job done rather than worrying about technology.

SMBs Benefit from Lightning-Fast Fiber-Optic Internet

Fiber opticsFor years, many big businesses have benefited from having the fastest Internet service at their disposal. Today, given the availability and spread of fiber-optic service, now even SMBs can benefit from speeds as high as 1 gigabit per second.

Most recently, some of the biggest names in the Internet service provider world have rolled out lightning-fast fiber-optic Internet service throughout several cities and regions. While this is great for ordinary consumers, it’s even better for SMBs.

Why Fiber-Optic Beats Out Cable

One of the biggest and most important advantages to fiber-optic Internet service is its speed. Whereas a typical cable Internet connection offers up to 150 Mbps for uploads and up to 20 Mbps for downloads, a fiber-optic connection offers speeds of 1 Gbps. When it comes to Internet speeds, cable Internet is a high-performance supercar; fiber-optic is a top fuel dragster.

It all comes down to one simple fact: fiber-optic connections are a big deal–much more so than a typical cable connection. It’s like pipes: today’s new fiber-optic lines are the big, brand-new pipes that let lots of liquids flow through unimpeded–as opposed to the narrow and winding pipes of yesteryear.

What It Means for Small Businesses

It’s not just movies and games that are getting bigger in size. Many of the digital items that small businesses rely on are also growing. Spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and graphics are just a few of the daily business items that involve lots of data. Simply, they need big pipes. Video-conferencing tools also require plenty of bandwidth, making fiber-optic lines necessary so that excellent video quality is maintained.

Fiber-optic connections are also becoming essential for cloud computing, which many SMBs employ. With a fast fiber-optic connection, businesses are able to access large amounts of their cloud-stored data and use a wide range of cloud apps at remarkable speeds.

In the end, the move towards fiber-optic connections means increased productivity for employees and an increased bottom line for many SMBs. More likely will adopt fiber-optic connections in the coming months, especially as cloud applications grow in popularity and daily business functions require more bandwidth.