Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, IBM Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Storage and Small Businesses | @CloudExpo #Cloud #IoT #BigData

Cloud storage's increased popularity in the SMB market arises from the numerous benefits the service offers

Everyone is talking about the Cloud, whether on the news or in advertisements from top-tier tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple. More important, the small and medium business (SMB) community has embraced the Cloud. Specifically, more than half of SMBs in the US currently use cloud storage, according to a new survey from Clutch.

Cloud storage's increased popularity in the SMB market arises from the numerous benefits the service offers, such as the reduced cost of data storage, backup and recovery, improved workforce productivity from file sharing and collaboration, and additional disaster protection. These factors make cloud storage appealing to SMBs and will increase the rate of cloud storage service adoption in 2016.

1. A Better Bottom Line: Cloud Storage Cuts Costs for Small Businesses
Cloud storage services reduce the cost of storing data for SMBs. Regardless of the industry, all businesses have to store large amounts of data: from emails, to documents, to images, to presentations and more.

While onsite storage systems, such as a personal server, external hard drives and USBs, may assist an SMB with its file-storing needs, the equipment is expensive to purchase, implement, and maintain over time. For example, a personal server will cost thousands of dollars upfront, a price tag that does not include the never-ending electricity and maintenance expenses that are required to keep onsite servers running.

Conversely, cloud storage services connect you to off-site servers. This means the upfront and ongoing costs to store data on personal servers disappears - becomes someone else's problem. The fee to store and access data through cloud storage services is much more affordable.

"Managing servers in-house is expensive. By outsourcing our data storage, we saved on a lot of hardware and maintenance costs." - Mickey Luongo, vice president, Total Home Supply

Additionally, cloud storage allows SMBs to pay for exactly the amount of storage they need. Onsite equipment is either wasteful or not enough: you can either pay for more storage than you need or work on the edge of having just enough storage space.

Unfortunately, this practice leaves a business unprepared if faced with a sudden uptick in storage needs. With cloud storage services, all it takes is a click of the mouse to bump up your storage capabilities.

2. A Mobile Workforce is a More Productive Workforce
Cloud storage services not only reduce the cost of storing files but also improve workforce efficiency and productivity. The financial rewards are double-sided.

For example, cloud storage service providers, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, enable easy file sharing among employees, which facilitates collaboration.

Additionally, cloud storage circumvents the classic nine-to-five workday. Nearly half of SMB employees use a mobile device to access files stored on the Cloud, which enables completing tasks while on the go or at home.

3. Keep Your Clients Happy
A more productive and efficient workforce results in an improved client experience.

Clients love being informed when you are working with them on a project. Nothing frustrates a client more than having to wait for a call back when they have a question that requires an immediate answer. Because of this, it is in a business' best interest to remain in constant contact with clients, a task the Cloud facilitates.

"We are able to share project drafts in real time and get instant feedback from clients. It makes them feel that they are involved in the process and gives them that in-house experience." - X. Kevin Liao, founder, Illustria, Inc

4. Ultimate Protection: When Disaster Strikes, the Cloud Keeps Your Data Safe
Disasters happen.

Who can predict when a hurricane or tornado may spin in your direction and bring your office to the ground? Maybe a superstorm floods your office and all your electronic equipment is ruined, or, maybe an unattended cigarette starts a fire. The point is, you never know when something terrible will happen.

Let's look at two contrasting scenarios:

Scenario A: Your business relies on onsite data storage devices, such as personal servers and computer hard drives. If a flood destroys this equipment and all the information stored on it, your business will be affected negatively. You need the information that was stored on those servers, and, without it, what can you do?

Scenario B: Your business migrated to the Cloud three months ago. A flood destroys your office, but you do not lose all your data because with cloud storage, no matter what physically happens to your office, your files will be waiting far away on your cloud provider's server - waiting to be restored.

The Cloud allows SMBs to save money, be more productive, and protect themselves from disasters.

When you really look at it, the question is not, "Why do 52 percent of small businesses use the cloud?" but rather "How can 48 percent of SMBs still not see the benefits of embracing cloud storage?" As awareness and knowledge of how the Cloud and cloud storage can benefit SMBs spreads, Cloud adoption rates in the SMB market will increase drastically.

More Stories By Sarah Patrick

Sarah is an analyst at Clutch. As a member of the marketing team, she conducts research that aims to help businesses and consumers select and use different agencies, services, and software. Clutch is a Washington, DC-based research, reviews, and ratings platform that identifies leading software and professional services firms.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...