You’re a small business owner, and you want access to all of the great software that your larger competitors use but at a rate that suits your pocket. 10 years ago this might have been difficult right? Nowadays thanks to Cloud Computing – this is a reality. This article will take you through all of the Cloud Software Service benefits for small businesses, to allow you to utilise Cloud to its maximum potential.
Now, let’s start with the basics – what is Cloud Software Services – or SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is all around you every time you go online, it’s Zimbra, DropBox, Twitter and Skype – any service you provision online either for free, or paid is software as a service via the Cloud. It’s an on-demand software delivery model in which software and the associated data (think emails/ files) are centrally hosted on the Cloud, allowing you to access them from anywhere. SaaS has now become a very popular delivery models for many businesses such as Accounting, CRM, HR, and content management systems.
The Benefits Cloud Software Services for small businesses:
1) Cost – Almost all small companies need to watch their costs closely, Cloud computing allows small business to access great online services for a margin of the cost of traditional software. For example: Microsoft Outlook 2010 costs around R809.00 for the boxed version, however, Zimbra, which offers multiple productivity tools via the Cloud can be provisioned for as low as just R49 p/m. In addition to this, many Cloud computing solutions are pay-as-you-go and don’t require a lot of money up-front – plus, they are predictable payments (so no scary bills jumping out of the darkness!)
2) Enterprise Class Functionality – We’ve touched on this above, but today, small companies can truly enjoy world class software for a fraction of what it would have previously cost. Large companies have the cash to fund custom functionality, small companies don’t – however, in the cloud, they can leverage development, upgrades and maintenance across the Cloud for their own business.
3) Legacy Issues – A common issue large corporates face when moving into the Cloud is how their legacy applications and systems will cope. Luckily, smaller businesses are nimble enough to be able to move into the Cloud simply, and have less complex legacy apps to contend with. Some Cloud hosting (like us) can host legacy apps anyway – which allows multiple offices to connect to a centralised secure service so that reports can be generated live and in real time. Win win both ways for small businesses.
4) Less IT Hours – Small businesses typically can’t afford to shell out copious amounts of hard earned cash on IT support – with SaaS, all software updates are done by the service provider, meaning IT support can be spent on adding strategic value instead of slaving away on menial tasks.
5) Security – SaaS usually affords small businesses far better security than they could provide themselves. Plus since your documents and data are stored in the Cloud, there are far less chances of them going missing, being deleted or copied, which is also great for compliance needs!
6) Scaleability - Since your software is all Cloud based – you can grow your business and staff force as quickly as you like, and only pay a small fee per employee. Having a quiet period? Scale back down, no costly capital expenditure whatsoever to worry about.
7) Availability - Cloud makes it possible for your companies emails, calendars, documents and apps to be available worldwide, which makes employees far more productive and allows for your small business to become truly Global and tap into the benefits of outsourcing and decentralised workplaces.
So we’ve summed up in 7 points why the Cloud is great for small businesses, if you’re interested in chatting to us about Cloud Computing for your business, check out or site or drop us a call. We offer the following great SaaS products: Hosted Exchange, Zimbra Collaboration Suite, and online back-up.