Cloud computing has gotten a lot of hype as being a wonderful tool for small businesses.
However, cloud storage isn’t cheap. Review the costs and benefits to decide if it is right for your business.
Calculating Cloud Expenses
It’s not always easy to compare the costs of cloud storage versus an external server. Break down the costs in a way that lets you truly compare apples to apples.
Break down the cost of storage per gigabyte. Depending on the amount of storage you need, the cost may vary greatly.
In some cases, physical servers are still less expensive than cloud storage. Also, make sure to shop around for prices on cloud storage. Each company offers slightly different fees and options.
Indirect Costs and Savings
It’s also important to look at the indirect costs and savings of cloud computing versus using an external storage system.
Cloud computing may save money in IT costs. Most cloud companies offer IT services as part of the package which can eliminate some your IT expenses.
External servers take up space. The costs of renting a storage facility or the cost of needing extra square footage to hold your data can be expensive. This can sometimes make cloud storage a more affordable option.
Moving all of your existing data that is stored on external servers over to the cloud can be expensive. Many businesses hire external IT companies to handle the data transfer and it isn’t cheap.
Cloud computing also means you don’t have to spend time backing up your data. Although it may only take a few minutes each day, these minutes add up over the course of months and years.
Cloud computing can also save on software costs. Many companies save a lot of money when they don’t have to install software on each employee’s computer.
The Cloud May be Worth the Extra Money
Some business owners are willing to pay a little more for cloud storage because it gives them peace of mind.
If a small business using the cloud experiences a natural disaster, fire or burglary, business can continue as usual. The amount of money that can be lost when a business can’t operate for a few days due to a disaster can be expensive.
Sometimes small disasters can mean big disaster to businesses. For example, if your town needs to be evacuated for a few days or if there is a power outage, you might be out of business if you use external servers.
Cloud computing can keep your business fully operational because you can work from anywhere you can obtain an internet connection. Even if you can’t make it in to the office, you’ll have access to your data.
Tips to Save with Cloud Computing
Many companies use cloud-based applications, such as Google documents, without purchasing cloud storage. Most applications are free of charge and may be vital to the daily operations of some businesses.
Businesses that don’t need a lot of storage may get away with using free storage from several different companies. A lot of cloud companies offer a little storage for free. Despite its cost saving measures, however, it can be cumbersome to have your data spread out in different places.
While some businesses report the cloud saves them a lot of money, other businesses report it’s too expensive.
The cloud can be very expensive and it doesn’t make sense for all small businesses.