For many small businesses, IT expenses are a big chunk of their monthly costs. The cost of software licenses, web hosting and hardware are areas where significant savings can be achieved by using Cloud Computing instead of traditional purchasing models.
Use the latest version of software, at a lower price
With most traditional licensing models, you are required to purchase enough licenses for the amounts of computers the software is going to be installed on. So, for example if you are a 5 people office you'd need 5 licenses of your favourite word processing software, another 5 licenses of your client management software… And new licenses when those programs get upgraded and new versions are released. Of course, you can still use the old version until it no longer is supported, but that means you are missing on new features and you won't be able to open documents created with the newest version of the software.
The cloud computing model is totally different. You don't pay for the license to a program, you pay a subscription to use a program that runs on your provider servers. All you need most of the time is a browser so you can access your account, from anywhere. Also, you can choose different plans depending on your company needs, and change as required. And you will always be accessing the most up to date version of the product you are paying for, without having to upgrade or purchase a new license and install it.
No need to worry about infrastructure and server security
One of the major benefits of cloud computing for small business is the fact that they don't need to be responsible for the patching and security of complex pieces of software anymore. With a typical setup you'd need an IT responsible to take care of things such as your central CRM server, doing things such as keeping the data secure and prevent accidental loss of data. The data is on the cloud, and is the responsibility of the cloud provider to keep that data safe and secure. And with names such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft you can safely assume that the data is on good hands.
The cloud computing model is based around a simple client accessing a complex server, and that means the software and hardware requirements on your side are a fraction of what they would be if you actually needed to maintain the infrastructure yourself.
Using cloud computing means your small business can save money that would otherwise be used to purchase hardware and software licenses and pay costly IT teams to install and maintain it. For a monthly or yearly subscription fee you can have access to the latest versions of the software you need, available from any computer with an Internet connection in case you decide to work from home and without having to manage it yourself. Cloud computing vendors give you access to big business infrastructure and services at a price small business can easily afford.