If your small business is not on the cloud yet, it should be. Advancement and innovation with cloud technology has made it possible for small businesses to not only exist in that space, but thrive. Today, small businesses have access to cloud computing technology that can give them significant competitive advantages, allowing them to compete in a much larger space. Companies like OSF Global Services are making it possible. They state, "For retailers around the world, we've been an important ally in transforming e-commerce." How did they do it? By offering cloud-based services and hosting. What was once reserved for big industry players is now available for small business, and it's making a difference. Here are the 3 reasons why.

1. Cloud Computing Saves Money

The Cost Factor. Moving to the cloud means less equipment to purchase and maintain. Sure, the upfront cost can cause a bit of sticker shock at first, but the compounded savings in regards to lower installation, upgrades, support, maintenance, power use and rack space can prove to be invaluable for small businesses. Most individuals can log on from a dummy terminal and have full access to whatever they need to find on the company server. All of the hardware is fully utilized, cutting down on waste and equipment that might not be used as often.

Increased Productivity. Team members can collaborate faster by placing documents and resources on the cloud. In fact, some teams house their entire projects on the cloud and give access to those who are integral parts of the project. Limits can be placed regarding access, and restrictions can be lifted quickly if someone needs to gain access to the project from another department. Anything that increases productivity and encourages efficiency is always going to save money.

Improved Flexibility. Since most cloud platforms offer multiple access across various platforms and mobile devices, small business owners can manage their business from anywhere, at any time. In addition, the flexibility has an indirect cost saving benefit to the small business. Owners could opt for employees to bring their own device and install the cloud app for access, or plug-and-play via the web. That is one less piece of equipment that a small business owner has to purchase for an office or employee.

2. The Cloud is Secure and Reliable

Nothing kills a competitive edge like a crashed server, or broken computer with that one important presentation you need. Cloud computing keeps your data secure with timely backups. This way, should disaster ever strike, getting your business up and running will take minutes versus hours. This is vital to remaining competitive since time spent fixing your infrastructure is time your team spends waiting and not producing.

Following through on this thought, cloud-based computing services are more reliable than traditional means. They have dedicated IT staff with many years of experience. They are sure to handle a problem much quicker then you would if you had your own IT department.

3. Administrative Insight.
There is one other benefit too. It may not affect small businesses directly in the area of competition, but it does make a difference, particularly for the small business owner. For instance, once you move your small business to the cloud, the entire world is your oyster. This includes your HR and accounting departments, even marketing. Being able to access special back office programs for these areas of your company allows you to keep an eye on the current state of affairs, while making sure your entire organization is fully integrated under one umbrella. This is one of the indirect competitive benefits of cloud integration. Cloud computing allows small business owners to run their business effectively without getting snagged on details and minutia. They can keep their finger on the company pulse without being obtrusive.
If you do not have your small business on the cloud, now might be the time to consider doing so. The market is extremely competitive, so finding a deal on a plan that suits your needs should not be difficult. Making the switch is not as cumbersome as you might believe, and the competitive benefits make all the difference in the world.