Small businesses are inherently at a disadvantage to Big Business, as the big box stores and other large companies simply have more resources and better infrastructure.
Data storage, however, is an area where small businesses can afford equipment and service that’s just as nice as what those large companies are getting. The cloud makes this possible. However, a recent study found that, of over 250 small businesses surveyed, 48% do not use cloud storage.
Cloud storage services (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.) offer many benefits over legacy services (onsite storage equipment) that these 48% of businesses are missing out on. Chief among these benefits is the ability to access data with a mobile device from wherever you can find an internet connection instead of being limited to the office.
Here’s what mobile access to cloud storage does for your business:
1. Encourages Remote Collaboration
Not all business is conducted at the office. There are off-campus trips to go on, meetings and conferences to attend.
Using a cloud storage service provider instead of relying on onsite equipment allows employees to access the data and tools they need to progress through assignments and be at their most productive while away on a trip.
Sorry, travelling employees who were looking to use their trip to relax a bit – being away from the office is no longer got an excuse to miss work.
2. Improves Productivity
For most small businesses, there’s no greater expense than payroll.
The flexibility that mobile access to cloud storage provides allows you to get more bang for your buck for all the resources you dedicate to your employees.
“Cloud storage also makes small businesses more productive,” says Dave Linthicum, senior vice president of Cloud Technology Partners. “This higher degree of productivity is everything to them.”
The logic here is as simple as it is true: more availability means that employees can complete assignments and projects faster, which means you’ll get a whole lot more work done, all for the exact same salaries you were paying your employees before you switched to the cloud.
It isn’t easy to succeed as a small business. According to Forbes, 9 out of 10 startups fail. As such, it follows that small businesses need to jump on every advantage they can find in order to survive. A little extra productivity goes a long way.
3. Keeps Employees Happy
The cloud not only makes your employees more productive – it makes them happier as well (which, in turn, makes them even more productive).
Instead of having to abide to the same standard 9 to 5 at the office schedule day after day, most employees prefer to be able to work, if possible, remotely from wherever and whenever they want.
Once employees can connect their personal laptops and devices to the cloud and access everything they’d be able to at the office from home (or anywhere else with an internet connection), why not afford them this luxury?
And since your bottom line is at the root of everything we’re talking about here, you’ll be happy to know that happier employees are more productive than their more bored, frustrated, and rigidly-scheduled counterparts.
4. Adds New Capabilities
So far, we’ve only talked about how the cloud allows employees to do anything they can do at the office with their mobile device.
But the benefits of mobile access to the cloud go beyond just what you could do before, because sometimes an office computer just isn’t the best tool for the job.
If you’re working a project that requires any drawing or sketching or anything else that’s best done with a relatively large touchscreen, it would help if you could connect your tablet directly to where the files are going to go, and that’s something that mobile access to the cloud provides.
Mobile access to the cloud also improves your business’s ability to respond to sudden, time-sensitive situations. Say it’s Saturday and the deadline of an important project just got bumped up to the coming Monday. You need the help of your team, but half of them have already headed to the beach for the weekend, and the other half aren’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of dragging themselves to the office on one of their days off.
With the cloud, it’s possible for those beach-goers (provided they brought their laptops) and convenient for everyone else to do their part of the project. They don’t need to come to the office – they just have to find the nearest WiFi hotspot.
In general, small businesses’ needs fluctuate more than larger businesses’, so it always helps to be better prepared for a change in plans.
5. Allows You to Gain an Edge Over Competitors
Back to the bottom line again – as nice as all these features are, the real benefit of mobile access to cloud storage has nothing to do with the technology itself, but rather that it provides you with an edge that nearly half of small businesses don’t have.
Taking advantage of the ability to access cloud storage with a mobile device provides you with the benefit of having a happier, more productive workforce, and this benefit is amplified by the fact that many small businesses refuse to claim this benefit for themselves.
There’s no reason not to leave your competitors in the dust and shift your storage needs to the cloud if you haven’t done so already. Do it now before those other businesses in town find out what they’re missing out on.