Operating costs can restrict your small business’s working capital and keep you from reaching your full potential. You may have heard about cloud storage or documents being “in the cloud,” but what does that mean to a small business?
In addition to being an everyday tech buzzword, cloud storage can also help cut business costs. If you invest in cloud storage solutions, you will eliminate physical data servers and their related costs from your IT budget. Data servers require space, energy, time and experience to maintain, and you may find you’re spending more money than you’d like to on hardware and software upgrades each year for increased storage capacity.
While some small business owners may be hesitant to invest in cloud storage solutions because of cost and security concerns, the truth is cloud storage can often be more secure and the higher up-front costs can be counteracted by the benefits over time. Learn more about how cloud storage solutions can help improve your working capital and how business lines of credit could help cover up-front costs.
What is cloud storage?
Cloud storage solutions are online data storage networks that use multiple servers to store your data virtually. Often the actual servers and their backups are maintained in one place by a third party, allowing your data to be backed up and accessible at all times. Plus, the third party handles any of the data recovery, damage to the servers or general upkeep of the machines.
Cost and savings of cloud storage solutions
The cost of a backup and recovery system on the cloud is determined by the usage, generally on a per gigabyte (GB) fee. There may also be a yearly subscription fee which can put your total cost over several thousand dollars per year. Because of this, switching to or starting out with a cloud storage solution may seem expensive, but as prices are likely to go down in the future, what you save on overhead could counteract the initial expense.
Benefits of cloud storage
One of the obvious benefits of a cloud storage solution is that the maintenance and upkeep of a data server doesn’t need to be managed by your team. If anything were to happen to your data, or power went out to the primary servers, the third party you work with would be responsible for having a backup and recovering anything temporarily lost. Plus, you can access your data anywhere, anytime you have an internet connection.
Outsourcing management of your data using cloud storage solutions cuts down on your overhead costs and improves working capital through energy savings, storage space for your servers and salaries for IT management of the server. It can also offer better protection than a server since many systems offer built-in backup with your service. This keeps your data running on more than one server so it’s always available even if maintenance is needed on a machine. Whether you want to use cloud storage solutions as a backup for your servers, or you want to place all your data on the cloud, the backup and recovery perks could outweigh initial costs for your company.
For example, if you hosted your own data servers, you’d need to buy new hardware and software every time you wanted to increase your data capacity. But with cloud storage solutions, all you need to do to increase the capacity is pay the cloud storage company the additional per gigabyte (GB) fee. You probably don’t need five terabytes (TB) of data when you get started, but your data needs will grow over time. With cloud storage, you can raise the capacity as needed rather than pay for a larger server or continual upgrades.
Cover the cost of a cloud storage solution with a business line of credit
Compare the cost of maintaining your own storage and servers with using cloud storage to see if it’s a good fit for your business. If the external backup and recovery system has the security and capacity you need and will help you cut business costs, consider covering initial costs with a business line of credit. A great tool for small businesses that need to improve their liquidity, small business lines of credit can help you invest in a purchase that will boost your working capital and eventually your bottom line. Speak to your local small business lender for more information on how to apply for a business loan or line of credit.
Sponsored content was sponsored by RBS Citizens Financial Group.