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How To Set Up Cloud Computing For Small Businesses

How to Set Up Cloud Computing for Small Businesses (It's Simpler Than You Think!)

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

21 September 20235 min read

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How to Set Up Cloud Computing for Small Businesses

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    Cloud computing — a buzzword as popular as terms such as AI. The cloud computing business is booming. And many business owners are wondering how to get into "the cloud," how it might benefit their business, and what it'll cost. Don't worry. In this article, I'll take you through how to set up cloud computing for small businesses.

    Trust me, it's not as difficult as you might think.

    What are the benefits of cloud computing?

    So, as tempted as you might be to get immediately started with your cloud-based workplace, it's essential to reflect: why do you want cloud computing in the first place?

    Cloud computing (like accounting software)  has numerous benefits. These benefits include but are definitely not limited to the following:

    • Cloud computing provides for efficient collaboration on projects: This is the second of the primary benefits of cloud computing. Did you know that if you use Google Docs, you're working on the cloud? And now you see the benefit as well. By simply sharing the file you're working on with someone else, they can easily edit or contribute.
    • Cloud computing provides a place for secure backups of essential data: this is why people employ cloud computing in their business. Have you ever had a computer crash on you and take all your information with it? Cloud backup services (which are usually automatic) prevent massive information loss and restore data.
    • Cloud computing can improve team communication: Communication platforms like Slack use the cloud to save messages, even from months ago. These platforms significantly improve team communication, particularly if you're a remote or hybrid company. After all, there are more efficient forms of communication than emails!
    • Cloud computing can be used for server hosting: cloud hosting comes with numerous benefits, not least of which is that instead of having one server, you can have several dealing with the bandwidth load. This means less downtime and a very scalable online space.
    • Cloud computing can be used for file sharing: Heard of Dropbox? Services like it let users easily share files online with the use of the cloud. 

    Okay, so now that I've hopefully (and thoroughly) convinced you of the benefits of cloud service providers, let's go over how you can get set up:

    Setting up cloud computing solutions for your small business in 3 simple steps

    Okay, so let's get started:

    Step 1: decide what cloud hosting you need

    Do you anticipate growing your website significantly? What are the scaling needs of your small business? You need to ask these questions because otherwise, your decision will be pretty arbitrary.

    There are hundreds of cloud services out there. You need to:

    • decide how much space you'll need on the cloud platform
    • consider how many people will be accessing your website or intranet at once
    • consider what you need: perhaps you also want an online store
    • decide on whether you want a public or private cloud server

    Step 2: select a cloud server

    The second step to utilizing cloud services is to select a cloud server that you'd use to host your website, internal communications, and everything else. While I could go on for ages about this, I'll keep it brief.

    (a) look at the cloud provider's certifications:

    While there are a lot of certifications and standards to go over (and which could be their own article) — to keep it brief, always check to see if the cloud provider adheres to any particular frameworks or standards. And if you can't find information about this, contact their customer service for more information.

    (b) consider data governance, accessibility, and management:

    Here's the thing: a lot of confidential information about your company will go onto their servers. How concerned are you about this falling into the wrong hands (my guess is very)? With this in mind, make sure to ask them about this.

    Ask yourself the following about the cloud service provider:

    • Is your sensitive data encrypted?
    • Do they have a data storage breach notification system?
    • Where are their data centers?

    (c) how's the server performance?

    Can you anticipate issues with page speed? How about failed messages? Look for client testimonials about this. It may even be a good idea to ask a question on a platform such as Reddit to get an idea.

    Step 3: consider cloud-based collaborative platforms

    These platforms come with many benefits. But let me go over a likely relatable example to start:

    Terry has always used Microsoft Word to write his articles. He doesn't see it as a problem because he can work on it offline when needed. When he's done, he emails it to his boss, who deals with it from then on.

    Terry's boss insists that he start using writing platforms with shareable links. What would be a convenient solution in this case?

    Well, Google Docs, for one! Not only will all his work get safely stored on the cloud, meaning that he doesn't have to make physical backups for fear of losing it all. It also means that he can easily share his work with his boss without sending constant attachments, clogging up their email servers!

    My homework assignment to you:

    Provided you have a good and stable internet connection, this may be the right step forward for you, so:

    Take your time and do some research. This means YouTube videos, customer review sites, and more. To get you started, here are a few helpful resources:

    ... Best of luck selecting the right cloud solution for you!


    Can small businesses use cloud computing?

    Small businesses can absolutely use cloud computing. It's not limited to large organizations with hefty budgets. There are many cloud service plans out there that are scaled down to suit business owners with less budget and fewer requirements.

    Can I buy cloud storage forever?

    There are only a few cloud storage options that offer lifetime plans. However, I do know of two reputable providers that offer this, namely:

    1. Icedrive
    2. PCloud

    Is cloud cheaper than hosting?

    Yes, using the cloud can be cheaper than traditional hosting because:

    • You don't need to purchase or replace hardware
    • There's no need for in-house server maintenance
    • You don't need to hire someone to manage your server

    How much do cloud services cost small businesses?

    The cost of cloud services can vary significantly from package to package and provider-to-provider. However, typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $40 per month. They’re quite cost-effective. A cloud server, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $50 to $1000 monthly.

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    Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.