Effective small business IT support can often be a struggle. Employing specialist IT personnel can be a huge financial strain for a small company. When the cost and time involved in regularly updating all the business software are also considered, then the problems get even worse.
Why choosing the cloud makes sense
In the past, the only viable options for in-house small business IT support were either to employ full-time IT staff or to make IT support a role that was combined with an existing employee position. Neither of these is an ideal solution for a small business. While a full time position is often unaffordable, a part-time role means that it’s likely nobody could be available when support is needed.
As a result of these issues, outsourcing IT support has become a popular option for many smaller companies. Outsourcing is generally more efficient for a small business than trying to manage on their own. This, coupled with the addition of cloud-based services, allows a small business to achieve the level of IT support they need, at a much lower cost than any in-house solution. Cloud service providers also have the added benefit of increased flexibility that isn’t found in traditional IT outsourcing.
What makes Cloud-based services cheaper?
Choosing the right software is critical for your company. Any purchased application must be well-suited to its purpose, and fully understood by the intended users. Frequently in the past, before software was purchased there was an expensive period of consultation where the software company helped the customer choose the applications which were most suitable for their business.
Cloud-based IT services are different, choosing the right cloud service provider is still important, but your business doesn’t commit to buying any software. Cloud-based solutions are run on a subscription model rather than a purchase-based model. Different products can be cheaply trialled with a small group of employees to assess their suitability before being rolled out to the rest of the company.
Another reason that cloud-based services are more cost-effective is that they are multi-tenant, this means that the the costs of the IT platform are shared between the customers rather than being carried by one company alone.
Choosing the right provider means choosing a company that offers the right software, and has a well established track record of supporting small businesses.
Other benefits of using cloud based services
With the traditional purchase-based IT model there is an ongoing need for computers to be updated with the latest software version for each product purchased. Problems frequently occur when one or more machines are found to be incompatible with the new package, or cannot be updated for some other reason.
When using a service like Office 365, or similar, all the apps are in the cloud, making everything much simpler, and the software is updated automatically as new versions become available
Another advantage of employing the cloud is increased scalability. If you need to expand or retract your business at short notice then it is simple to increase or decrease your subscription level quickly. Your business is not tied into long-term contracts or expensive software license purchases, but can adapt to changing circumstances without delay.
Perhaps the most important reason that cloud-based services are better value is the improved service availability that they offer. No longer will you have to wait hours while your engineer struggles to fix your troubled system. Cloud providers offer an up-time guarantee so you can be sure your IT will be available whenever you need it.
With 80% of cloud adopters seeing service improvements within 6 months of moving to the cloud now seems to be the perfect time to move your small business IT support to the cloud, 82% of business said they saved money when they switched.