Imagine how convenient it would be for you to get access to all your company’s essential data and files on the move. This is made possible with the technology of cloud computing and its provider of the best cloud services for small businesses. In today’s digital age, having cloud services for any company is inevitable.
However, the usability and requirements of using cloud services differ from large enterprises to small businesses. So it becomes highly essential to choose suitable yet best cloud services for small businesses as well as large companies.
In today’s post, we will be highlighting some of the best cloud computing solutions for small businesses. Along with it, we will also explain the basic concept of cloud services and why small businesses should utilize and implement cloud services for their data backup systems effectively.
So let’s get on with the details.
What do we understand by cloud service?
Back in the day, we used to store all our important files and data on hard drives. It was when no cloud services or smartphones were available. We used to do all that with the help of a USB port. But today, with the availability of cloud services everywhere, we get to choose from a wide range of options for storing databases, files, records, and servers.
Now we can safely protect all of that without needing to store it on our storage drives. The services are also cost-effective and provide their users with many essential features that we don’t get when we manually store them ourselves.
On top of that, one can get complete access to their files, records, sharing of data, and more from anywhere they want. This makes the collaboration process in real-time among team members easier than ever. The whole team can work on the same files at the same time without facing any issues.
A little more about cloud service
So in simple words, a cloud service is one kind of digital service that allows users to have dedicated fixed storage to store data for any type of business, small or large, in a safe, secure place. It lets users access client data that it stores in their remote server space.
The maintenance and ownership of this cloud storage are with the cloud hosting company, whereas the user simply owns the space that they bought to store their data in it. There will be no limit to a user’s accessibility to their stored client data, provided secured access is designated for them by the cloud service providers. The data, however, could be on multiple or many servers that are in the data center of the cloud hosting company.
There are different types of cloud services for small businesses that include:
- Cloud Backup
- Cloud Backup
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Cloud hosting
The best cloud services for small businesses can manage several essential company-related tasks, including file storage and web hosting.
Why should a small business require the best cloud services?
Nowadays, the service and benefits of cloud solutions are not limited to large enterprises only. In a more adverse sense, the technology of the cloud is equally suitable for small to medium-sized businesses.
Cloud services boost productivity, saving time and money for businesses. It even improves team collaboration, creating scope for promoting innovative ideas. As your business grows, you can scale up your workflow.
So here are some of the top reasons why a small business should activate the service of cloud solutions.
- Ease of accessibility on the move from anywhere
- Improve in flexibility
- Increase in data security, privacy & control
- Cost-effective service and economical upfront investment
- Convenience while maintaining a remote team & facility
- Easy data backup option
- Business process automation
- Get to stay updated with the latest technology
- Simultaneous team collaboration with constant user consistency
5 Best cloud services for small business
Apart from the above benefits, reliable Cloud service ensures small businesses cut down on the staff’s workload when they don’t need to employ employees to update & install applications, manage emails & file servers or run & maintain backups anymore. You will be able to save hardware space as there will be no need for software updates on your network server.
More essentially, you no longer need to store any file, backup data, and software installations file that fills up the space of your personal computer and server. Above all, as the online cloud storage providers regularly update their applications, therefore it saves time as you don’t have to update them yourself anymore. The cloud service providers that are listed to discuss below are already very popular names in the ever so crowded realm of cloud storage solutions list.
Once you have signed up for the Microsoft Azure cloud service platform you get to run virtual desktops & applications with its storage and backup system based in the cloud. Moreover, it is a cloud computing platform vastly designed to offer organizations built-in migration tools. This means businesses are able to migrate Windows server & Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to various other devices.
As a hybrid cloud service provides it has the immense ability to integrate and manage your environments. It supports almost all the popular platforms like iPhone, Android, Windows phone apps along with its web service. The solution is suitable for all types of business setup starting from small or medium-sized organizations. It also provides customer support through online, tutorials, knowledge-based documentation.
One can easily have security, scalability, and analytics even while the company is growing. Not to mention its multi-layer security and data backup facility that its user get to have from day one of its use. Keep all your files safe even after giving employees access to data. Truly a solid cloud service for every type of business model.
- Scaleable as per user demand
- No requirement of on-site hardware
- Budget-friendly subscription models
- Enterprise grade development tool
- Top-notch cybersecurity
- Advances compliance features
With 5 TB cloud backup storage at an impressive price of just $13.90 for the first year, the IDrive is indeed a solution with one of the better online backup services for small businesses. To launch the full application, one can easily click on the IDrive’s notification area to access its settings and manage other backup schedules.
During the transmission and while at rest on the server, the data in it remains totally encrypted until you restore it from the client-end. In terms of backing up your file, it lets you select files and documents from common user folders like documents, music, pictures, and so on. In the case of restoring the backup file, from the dropdown menu, the user is able to select the original backup device to move files directly to the PC.
Using the checkboxes, its settings provide the option to restore them in a folder structure. There is also the option for, syncing, individual devices, and sharing preferences. The user can also share any files easily via email by signing up for an IDrive account.
Moreover, one can download any file, by digging into any folders or choosing a computer from the Backup tab. The solution also has a mobile app allowing you to backup anything from the ease of your mobile device. With the backup speed being on the higher side, IDrive is truly a fully-featured online drive for any business setup.
- Easy-to-use setup functionality
- No limit for devices per account
- Backup for disk image
- Syncing of Folder
- Download & bulk upload backup file
- Easy data restoration via email
- Lighting fast upload speeds in testing
This is the most popular cloud service that almost all common people use. This free cloud service has the potential to become the backbone of any small business. With its fully-featured cloud-based document, presentation, spreadsheet, forms, and drawing tool, it is the most favorite cloud service for all and not just for small businesses. A comprehensive online drive to be able to access anything from anywhere. This means your files go wherever you go.
Right now, this is probably the most favorite place for anyone needing to store & share their photos, documents, files, recordings, videos, and more. All you will need is the login to your Google account and you will be able to access your files from any device you want. You will love how smartly you can share the important files simply by sharing an invite link in order to collaborate with your team member better.
Instead of using Gmail to send email attachments all the time, you can simply use Google drive. So sharing and working on your files with multiple people at the same time has never been easier and faster.
- Compatible with Microsoft Office
- Simple & easy to use interface
- Custom link for easy file sharing
- Store any type of files, videos, PDF, presentations, documents, etc.
- Files protected with SSL standard
- Compatible with plenty of apps and templates
- Easy accessibility from any device you want
Note: Although most of the cloud services from Google were free all these years, from coming June 1, 2021, Google has announced that its users will no longer be able to enjoy its free Google photos storage service and will only be able to use their dedicated 15 GB of free storage to save their photos and videos.
If anyone feels the need to extend its storage for its cloud service then they will have to opt-in for the Google drive premium plan.
Another really popular cloud storage service that can be used to store and share data and files in the cloud at ease. Dropbox application can be termed as an ideal platform for managing, retrieving, and storing your files that can be accessed from anywhere. It has a unique option of being able to share files even with non-Dropbox users. Once you get signed up with a Dropbox account, you automatically get free storage of 2 GB. It is easy to use, as you can simply connect yourself to the internet and you are all set to access this tool.
The cloud service provider is also said to be an ideal platform for storing and backing up all your essential information. This means if for any mishaps, you lose your data on your computer, you will easily be able to get back everything as it was before. The tools ensure complete security of your data as it encrypts your files when they are moving to and from the cloud storage.
Working from your mobile or tablet is easier than ever, as you get to access files and work on them anytime you want. Even if you don’t have an internet connection, its user can also access the files or folders that you have marked to automatically sync offline.
Collaboration with team members is also easier than ever, as the collaborators with a Dropbox account can work simultaneously on shared files. Backing up your files is also hassle-free, as the user can simply drag & drop the file or folder that they want to backup to the Dropbox folder on your desktop.
Also retrieving your accidentally deleted files can be difficult in many cloud services but not in the case of Dropbox, as you can get lost files back with a single click.
- It is free & easy-to-use
- Ideal & secured platform for backing up information
- Great mobility for accessing files from anywhere or any device
- Easy backup and retrieval of files at anytime
- Work without an internet connection
- Share file easily to collaborate and work on them
For people who work on multiple systems every day and want to back up everything in one place, SpiderOak can be really helpful as it allows backup from unlimited machines. It is quite well-known for its high-end military-grade security. The user can rest assured about their data being safe due to its strong encryption and zero-knowledge policy. As the data is saved in their in-house server and not in any third-party server, therefore, not even the company has access to the user data. It also provides access to these servers only to a limited number of authorized operators.
All the data and files on SpiderOak are backed up through desktop apps. A user can either use their free storage or 2 GB or opt for any of its cost-effective paid plans. The solution comes with two-level of backup, basic level & advanced level. And a user looking for more control over how their data and files are backed up should go for advanced level backup in it.
Another exciting feature that this innovative cloud service provider offers is its de-duplication option. This means the system will automatically detect any duplicate file on your desktop in advance, and it will not back it up again while it locally syncs it with the system, refraining it from creating the duplicate file again.
Its highest selling point was always the security and privacy that it provides to its users protecting their sensitive information. Although one of its negative points can be termed for it only having a desktop app and not any web app. Although its mobile app is available for use on Android & iOS.
- Easy file sharing & archiving
- Private encryption of backed up files
- Free storage of 2GB
- Local and server-side encryption
- Keeps unlimited deleted files
- Collaboration through folder sharing
- iOS and Android apps
Apart from these popular and reliable cloud services for small businesses, there are also web-based project management solutions, like Trello, Asana, etc., that enable the user to manage a project among teams in a more flexible, visual, and organized way. And if you are looking for a solid yet self-hosted project management tool that is incredibly useful, versatile, and super easy to use, then WP Project Manager is the solution for you.
Be mindful while choosing the best cloud services for small business
Just like the immense advantages of employing the service of the cloud for small businesses, there are also some drawbacks and limitations to it. So it is always better to address all those setbacks and assess the suitability of all those cloud services carefully, along with understanding your company’s requirements, before you decide to get any of the cloud services that we mentioned above.
Each cloud service provider is entitled to provide different features and functionalities. Some will be cheaper with optimum features, whereas others will be rich in features and user-friendliness. So you have to know and assess beforehand what you want from your cloud service provider for your small business. And based on that, you should pick the best cloud services for your small business.
But to be honest, when it comes to choosing the best cloud services for small businesses, the most significant thing that you should consider is the measures and steps that it takes to protect your personal and sensitive information.
Which cloud services or solutions do you use to keep your data and records safe for your small business? Share your experience with us in the comments below.