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Thanks to the miracle of high-speed Internet, many small business IT and telecom solutions don’t have to live on-site with your company. Instead, you simply store and access them via the “cloud.” (Of course, “cloud” is a metaphor—we’re talking about storage and access via an external server, not some mythical digital “cloud.”)

Businesses are quickly catching on to the wonder of cloud computing, taking it to new heights (pun intended). According to Forbes, companies currently spend four times more on cloud solutions than they spend on other IT. At a predicted growth rate of 19 percent per year, cloud computing will likely grow to a $162 billion industry by 2020.

How Do Cloud Solutions Help Small Business Owners?

• More cost-effective. Small businesses spend far less on monthly access and storage than they would by buying and maintaining their own equipment.
• Low maintenance. Someone else deals with upkeep, maintenance and system failures, leaving you to focus on other things.
• More flexibility and mobility. You can access services securely from any device, whether at home, at the office or on the road.
• Increased ability to collaborate. You can easily share projects with other teammates, and even with other companies.
• Increased competitiveness. You have access to professional services previously only available to larger companies with bigger budgets.

When Should You Consider Cloud Solutions?

You might want to investigate cloud solutions for your business, if any of the following scenarios apply:

• You have concerns about backing up your data (or have already experienced data loss).
• You are running out of on-site storage space for your data and have neither the budget nor space for more servers.
• You need expanded phone and conferencing services but can’t afford to expand your infrastructure.
• You are conducting business on the go and can’t always make it to the office to access documents and files.
• You need to collaborate with someone offsite.

Small business owners currently enjoy a growing number of services available from the cloud, including shared file servers, hosted exchange email, e-fax and cloud backup services. In the next several posts, we’ll go into more detail about each of these cloud solutions. To explore more of these options for your business today, contact us.

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