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How Small Businesses Can Save Money Using Cloud Technology

Adriaan Brits

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Photo by Ivan Cujic – Pexels

Cloud computing refers to the on-demand availability of computing resources, mainly storage and processing power, without active management by the end-user. It is one of the biggest gifts that the technology industry has given to individuals and businesses, as it’s now relatively easy to acquire computing resources to cater to different needs.

The concept of cloud computing has existed in different forms since the 1960s. Initially, it was known as time-sharing, which entailed multiple users sharing the resources of a single computer through multi-tasking and programming.

In the 1990s, computers became more sophisticated and powerful, compelling technologists to explore new ways to make large-scale computing power available to end-users. Around this era, time-sharing morphed into a much broader concept called the cloud.

In 2002, Amazon, the e-commerce giant, created a cloud computing subsidiary named Amazon Web Services (AWS). It was the first mainstream cloud computing service and remains the leading cloud provider to date.

How to cut costs and save money using cloud technology

Businesses often seek out how to reduce costs and increase profits while continuing to deliver great services to their customers. This activity is critical for small businesses that often have funding constraints.

Thanks to cloud technology, your business can reduce costs in many ways, including;

Less Hardware

It’s usually difficult to precisely estimate the size of computing resources you need to run a new business. Hence, firms tend to acquire more computers and servers than they need and waste money. But, with cloud technology, you wouldn’t face this problem because you can pay as you go.

With a cloud provider, you only pay for the amount of computing storage or processing power you use. Thus, you won’t overspend on hardware resources but put that surplus money to good use elsewhere.

Capital Conservation

It’s estimated that 22% of new businesses fail in their first year, and 50% fail within five years, mainly due to capital constraints. Hence, reducing the amount of capital you need to invest in a new business can conserve funds and increase your chances of success.

Hardware is expensive and makes up a significant part of capital expenditures for most new businesses. However, you don’t need to buy any servers when you can rent one from a cloud hosting service. Likewise, you wouldn’t have to deal with maintenance costs because you don’t own the servers. The cloud hosting vendors are responsible for the costs of any maintenance or repair.

Thanks to cloud technology, you can conserve considerable funds that you would have spent on expensive hardware for future use.

Reduced Staffing Costs

Staffing often represents the most considerable cost for small businesses, and Information Technology (IT) specialists earn competitive salaries globally. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT occupations command a median annual salary of $97,000.

Cloud computing services make it easy to control computing processes. Hence, you don’t necessarily need an in-house IT team, which can be expensive. At most, you’ll require only one mid-level IT staff that you can employ part-time or as a freelancing consultant. You may even handle IT-related tasks yourself and save on staffing costs.

Your cloud computing budget, no matter how big, won’t come close to the cost of having a full-time, experienced technical team. So, you’ll significantly save money in this area.

Scaling

One of the best benefits of cloud technology is scalability. Because you only pay for the computing resources you consume, it’s easy to adapt to rapidly-changing market conditions.

Many businesses that use physical servers fail to keep up with heightened customer demand.

For example, a restaurant that hosts its ordering website locally will find it tough to keep up if there’s a customer influx in their vicinity due to an event.

If their website goes down, the restaurant will incur losses and draw ire from customers. But, with a cloud computing solution, they can always meet demand and avoid potential losses. This scenario applies to every type of business.

Energy Saving

Electricity costs are paramount for every business, mainly those whose work involves powerful machinery. Internal servers use a great deal of energy for their running and cooling. But, you don’t need to buy and maintain internal servers when you can simply rent one from a cloud computing provider and save on energy costs.

Best cloud computing providers to help you save money

There are numerous cloud hosting providers available. But, some are better than others. The best ones include;

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most popular cloud computing provider. It was the first mainstream service in the industry and has held onto the number one spot ever since its founding. It currently serves over 1 million users, ranging from small businesses to large enterprises, and brought in $62 billion in revenue in 2021.

The AWS cloud infrastructure spans 84 Availability Zones within 26 geographic regions globally. Yet, the company has plans for 24 more Availability Zones in 8 regions. The massive infrastructure makes AWS reliable for businesses across the globe. There’s no possibility of total downtime. If one data center goes down, many more are available to pick up the slack.

Likewise, AWS offers excellent speed for its clients. It allows you to choose specific availability zones to serve your computing needs. Hence, you can select those closest to your location to ensure maximum speed.

The platform is cost-effective, as it operates on a pay-as-you-go model. It’s also pretty flexible, allowing users to select the specific operating system, programming language, web application platform, database, and other services they need.

AWS has a stellar reputation regarding security. It supports more security standards and compliance certifications than any other cloud offering. Thanks to the dedicated AWS Management Console, it’s also easy to manage.

Microsoft Azure

Azure is the second leading cloud provider globally. It’s operated by Microsoft, the tech giant best known for its Windows operating system.

Microsoft launched Azure to the public in 2010, eight years after AWS. Though it was a late entrant into the cloud computing game, the company leveraged its already-established familiarity with businesses across the globe to turn Azure into the second-largest cloud provider.

The Azure platform is powered by 200+ data centers spread across 140 countries. Still, Microsoft has committed to building 50 to 100 new data centers each year. It implies that though the cloud computing market is already immense, there’s still much more room for growth.

It’s easy to rent computing resourced on-demand from Azure and pay for only what you use. The platform offers many services, including virtual machines, SQL databases, artificial intelligence computing, and data storage.

Thanks to its large scale, Azure is relatively affordable compared to smaller players in the cloud industry. It’s also flexible, as you can spin up new services and increase your data storage requirements at any time.

Because of its extensive cloud infrastructure, Azure is very dependable even in disasters. Servers are always available across different locations to pick up any slack that may occur due to physical or software mishaps. The platform is also highly secure, with 24/7 monitoring for any evolving threat and a dedicated team to counter them.

DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean is an American cloud infrastructure provider. It’s a much smaller player in the cloud market than AWS and Azure, but it has a reputation for excellent service. The company operates over a dozen data centers across the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

The main attraction to DigitalOcean is its relative affordability. You can rent cloud storage space for as low as $5 per month, making it ideal for small businesses with tight budgets. The platform currently has over 600,000 customers, so you’ll be in good company if you select it.

One of the best things about DigitalOcean is its simple user interface. The company managed to pack many features into a minimal, uncluttered interface that’s easy to navigate. It also delivers solid performance despite having a much smaller cloud infrastructure than big players like AWS and Azure.

MQL5 Cloud Network

MQL5 Cloud Network is another niche cloud network powered by thousands of computers across the globe. It’s peer-to-peer, such that it facilitates the exchange of computing resources between people that need them and people who have spare CPU time on their machines. Hence, you can also choose to rent your surplus computing power and earn money through MQL5 Cloud Network.

The platform’s primary customer base is businesses in the financial sector. One of the major use cases is building and testing algorithmic trading strategies. But, you can also use it for other types of tasks, e.g., scientific research.

The MQL5 platform currently has over 37,000 cores, referring to the number of CPUs that make up its cloud network, and that number tends to increase rapidly over time (it has added 3,000 cores year-to-date).

Final Words

The cloud market is here to stay and will continue to expand in the future. According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global cloud computing market is expected to top $947 billion by 2026 compared to $445 billion in 2021.

The massive growth forecast shows that more businesses are flocking to the cloud daily, as it makes things easier for them. You shouldn’t be left behind, so select a cloud provider to help you reduce costs as soon as possible. 

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