Cloud computing, which encompasses applications, storage, and internet based servers, is all around us now, and for good reason. Managed IT services company NexusOS has revealed that, for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the cost effectiveness of the cloud is invaluable. With infinite storage, easy transfer of data and accessibility, it helps to greatly increase productivity without costing too much.
A UK based managed IT services company, Nexus.co.uk, is drawing a spotlight on the importance of cloud computing for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Through the cloud, SMEs can save time and space, while increasing productivity at the same time. It encourages data sharing and virtual access without a requirement for additional hardware and physical servers. Furthermore, through software updates and online installations, there is no more need for large hardware IT infrastructures.
A representative from Nexus says: “Before the cloud, workers had to use discs or thumb drives in order to transfer large pieces of data, physically bringing them with them. With the cloud, there is no more need for this at all, with data being sharable anytime and anywhere. This makes working so much more efficient, and it helps reduce costs as well.”
Research has shown that, thanks to the cloud, more companies have been able to include flexible working arrangements. People can work from home now, allowing employees to strike a greater work-life balance. Happy employees are productive employees, so this further increases productivity.
What NexusOS highlights as the greatest benefit, however, is the fact that the cloud is very affordable. There are many plans available, enabling businesses to pay only for what they actually need. And the majority of cloud servers have free versions, so businesses can try before they buy.
Nexus has completed a piece of research on expenditure for SMEs, finding that just 2.5% of their total budget goes to IT. Yet the cloud is cheaper than any infrastructure they would have had in place, which means that they can achieve the exact same infrastructure as a Fortune 500 company, but at a price that they can afford.
The Nexus representative added: “Cloud services are offered by all the tech giants, including Amazon, Dropbox, and Google Drive. These are very easy to use, so no special skills are needed either. An SME that does not use the cloud is really giving up on a competitive advantage.”
What Nexus did find in their survey was that SMEs who do not use the cloud do so because they have security concerns. It is certainly true that 60% of cyber-attacks target SMEs, not in the least because this can give cyber-criminals access to larger corporations. This was shown in 2013, when Target lost 40 million debit and credit card numbers due to a hack at a subcontractor of the company.
In their report, Nexus stated that some $6.6 million US Dollars are lost in repair and business cost due to security breaches each year. Furthermore, SMEs were found to be at particular risk, because they have less of a focus on security. As a result, Nexus has revealed the four most important things that all SMEs should invest in:
- Secure authentication.
- Protective barriers.
- Private access.
- Secure hardware.
The Nexus representative added: “Yes, being virtual means also being exposed to virtual risks. However, if an SME does not adopt the cloud, they will lose out on a lot of money through lower productivity and efficiency. It is important, however, that SMEs do understand how to protect themselves from the potential risks, which is not too difficult to do either.”