5 benefits of cloud solutions for small businesses in 2022

Data from a recent survey by Gartner shows that 62% of small and midsize businesses are already using cloud computing, while 33% are either planning to implement the technology or are currently analyzing how it might best be used by their business.

I'm not saying you should use the cloud just because almost everyone else is doing it. What I am saying is that the cloud can hold a lot of benefits, most especially for small businesses.

By now, the security concerns that characterized the early days of the cloud have largely subsided and the technologies are more mature, allowing businesses to take advantage of the cloud for a wide variety of creative purposes. Cloud solutions have already led to massive growth in hundreds of areas, most notably the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and large-scale information processing and storage on remote servers.

According to Jesse Nieminen, co-founder and chairman of management software provider Viima, we are now at the point where "the cloud is something like electricity was a hundred years ago. It's making everything much more efficient and is a tremendous enabler for most of the technology of the future."

But just because cloud solutions are "the new electricity" doesn't mean you should adopt them without having a precise business strategy in mind. To make it easier for you to build your business case for the cloud, I've looked at five innovative benefits of cloud solutions for your business.

The cloud for small business

The cloud has opened more than a few doors in the small business space. It gives businesses of all sizes the ability to perform huge information processing tasks. The myriad different ways businesses are harnessing the potential of the cloud highlights the versatility of the technology.

Five promising ways businesses can benefit from cloud solutions in 2022 stand out.

1. scaling the infrastructure

Scaling cloud-based infrastructures is one of the fastest growing application areas for cloud solutions in 2022.

For example, with web-based commerce, server load is inherently unpredictable, and a sudden unexpected spike in interest can overload traditional servers, leaving your customers without access at the most important moment. With a scalable infrastructure hosted in the cloud, failover systems can automatically step in when the host server is overloaded.

The benefits for your small business: A cloud-based data infrastructure is efficient, inexpensive and aligns with demand. You only pay for the server load you really need, so data management costs match your usage - the most cost-effective solution for small businesses. High expenses for large local server capacities have become obsolete with this technology.

2. cloud-based office systems

In 2018, almost every company uses collaborative work environments. Cloud-based office platforms like Google's G Suite or Microsoft Office 365 are better suited for team projects than traditional programs: They allow multiple users to work simultaneously, with all changes synced in real time across unlimited devices.

The benefits for your small business: "Living documents" in cloud-based Office systems instantly display changes made by all users, enabling a fundamentally new kind of collaboration between different employees.

At the same time, these digital workplaces greatly reduce the workload of IT professionals in infrastructure management, freeing up time and resources for big projects like data analytics. If your organization is still sending documents back and forth via email, moving to a platform like G Suite can greatly increase your productivity.

3. remote workstations

Cloud-based office systems are also making location-independent office environments increasingly popular. Employees can use cloud services to flexibly collaborate remotely or continue projects while they are at conferences or traveling. Other cloud-hosted services, such as Skype, provide hassle-free communication between teams and managers.

The benefits for your small business: Location-independent and remote employees can save businesses many of the costs associated with traditional workspaces. Cloud technologies also lower social barriers for those with children or disabilities, creating a foundation for a more inclusive workplace.

Experts predict that nearly two-thirds of professionals will work remotely by 2020, representing a fundamental shift for business infrastructure. If you create the opportunities for remote workplaces now, you'll be one step ahead of the competition.

4. big data analytics

In 2022, more and more small businesses are making use of Big Data. Cloud computing provides them with the computing power they need to organize and use large amounts of data. Most small business owners overestimate the technical challenges associated with Big Data analytics, but the effort is definitely worth it.

The ability to make more informed decisions based on comprehensive customer data offers great benefits: For example, you can provide your customer base with more relevant information at the right time or respond to customers' wants and needs in real time.

The benefits for your small business: More and more businesses are shifting their focus to user-friendly data analytics interfaces, bypassing many of the costs associated with analyzing such large amounts of information. Open-source platforms like Hadoop and HPCC make these tools accessible to small businesses, allowing cloud-based computing to take on this mammoth task.

Experts recommend around 500 Mbps for constant cloud-based computing. Small businesses can thus invest in higher Internet speeds instead of making relatively inefficient investments in server capacity and hardware, saving money in the long run.

5. backups and recovery

Information security continues to be a major hurdle for small businesses. Threats evolve quickly, and fully defending all critical infrastructure components is often nearly impossible for small IT teams. A 2021 survey conducted by the Better Business Bureau found that only 35% of businesses say they can remain profitable for more than three months if they lose access to critical data.

The benefits for your small business: Cloud-based data storage provides more security by giving information management some redundancy. Hybrid systems that back up local data to the cloud in real time provide protection in the event of a security breach and allow businesses to rely less heavily on physical infrastructure and manual backups.

How will your small business benefit from cloud solutions?

Small and large businesses have already adapted to a wide variety of technological realities, and we will soon get used to cloud technologies as well. Even though they bring great challenges and learning, the potential benefits from cloud technologies are creating a whole new baseline for information technology in 20022.

The above benefits make it clear that cloud technology has the potential to improve not only information storage and security, but also the way we work with each other and the accuracy with which we make business decisions.

It's up to you to make your business succeed, and with these five ways you can use cloud technologies to do just that. Are you using cloud solutions in your small business or planning to? If so, what benefits are you observing or hoping to see? Tell us in the comments!