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Op-Ed: 3 reasons your small business needs to adopt the cloud now

Whether it’s an AC failure that causes your servers to overheat, a burst pipe that floods your server room, a lightning strike or a physical intrusion, anything that knocks out your physical equipment will take software, backups and data down with it. And this can be devastating to your business.

Here are three reasons your small business needs to migrate to the cloud ASAP:

#1 Rapid data recovery
Most data loss (roughly 75%) is caused by either human error or hardware failure. And if you do suffer a data loss, some of the negative impacts can include:
• Of companies that lost access to data for 10 days or more, 93% filed bankruptcy within 12 months.
• Of companies that suffer catastrophic data loss, 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years.
• Of small companies with 100 or less employees that suffer data loss, 70% go under within a year.

Relying on hardware will continue to put you at risk even when you have a heads up that failure is imminent. If a server shows signs of going bad, it can take weeks to get a replacement giving your ailing hardware plenty of time to go kaput. Cloud integration allows you to protect your critical data and full cloud adoption can protect you thoroughly from data loss and hardware failure.

Cloud backups can usually be restored within minutes rather than days. And, if you fully embrace the cloud and have your software and apps stored there as well, you can have zero down time because you can access your data and systems from any computer or device with an internet connection. This means your clients need never know you suffered a data loss and business as usual is assured.

#2 Increased access
Small businesses can use cloud tools for a wide array of tasks from bookkeeping to inventory management, project management to collaboration and more. There’s virtually nothing that can be run on a server that can’t also be migrated to the cloud. Cloud solutions can warehouse all of your data, software and apps in one central location that can be accessed from anywhere 24/7/365.

Enhanced accessibility allows your business to be agile and flexible. Your employees can work remotely and seamlessly whether at a client site or at their local Starbucks. This can reduce sales closing time and increase employee retention. And, if you migrate to a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network as part of your cloud migration, you can enjoy greater security, secure access and speedier access to cloud solutions.

#3 Cost savings
Servers and hardware are prohibitively expensive. What makes it worse is that, with hardware, you must pay for excess capacity that sits fallow because you can’t afford to run out of space. In contrast, with cloud solutions, you pay only for what you use yet you can scale instantly (up or down) when your needs change. This allows you to save significantly while never running short on capacity.

Plus, with cloud integration, as technology evolves, you won’t have to pay to replace obsolete equipment because you’ll be out of the hardware game. Other than your individual employee workstations (whether desktop or laptop), you can be virtually hardware-free. This allows you to budget more accurately, avoid unexpected costs and never pay for more than you need.

Move to the cloud now or face the consequences!
Small businesses are adopting the cloud at a faster rate than large businesses. Small business cloud computing adoption is projected to double from 37% currently to nearly 80% by 2020. If your SMB is avoiding the cloud, because you don’t think you need it, don’t understand it or don’t think it will enhance your business, think again. Your competitors are embracing the cloud and if you don’t evolve, your business may be at risk.

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