Cloud service and storage providers offer valuable IT solutions for businesses of all types and sizes. Originally thought of as more for personal and less for business, cloud storage for business is following the footsteps of many personal technologies adapted for business. Many businesses can benefit from comprehensive cloud services — hosted applications, infrastructure as a service, and many more — and the transition often begins with data storage needs.

Many people reap the benefits of the cloud for personal reasons, but most businesses have yet to take the leap. Whether your current on-premise data storage seems sufficient or you simply haven’t taken time to consider cloud storage, analyzing its advantages is a good way to start.

1. Cost Savings

The first benefit, and perhaps the most important in the minds of most business owners, is the cost advantage. Cloud storage is generally more affordable because providers distribute the costs of their infrastructure and services across many businesses.

Moving your business to the cloud eliminates the cost of hardware and maintenance. Removing these capital expenditures and the associated service salaries from your technology expenses can translate into significant cost savings.

2. Convenience

The first thing you would notice when setting up a printer connected to Google Cloud Print or another one of the cloud services offered by major printer vendors is that there are no drivers to install and configure. Printers come “cloud-ready” out of the box, and many services also come with Android and iOS apps to print directly from your smartphone or tablet. The web-connected printers also eliminate the need for manual updates, automatically updating drivers and firmware without human intervention.

All of the files you print are sent over the web through the cloud-based printing service, so your computer doesn’t even need to communicate with the printer directly. Simply log into a PC or mobile device that has Internet connection, log into your account on a given cloud-based printing service, and then start printing.

This also facilitates more convenient print content and document sharing. Most cloud-based printing services let you “share” access to your cloud-connected printer with another trusted party as easily as sharing an online document with them, including the ability to manage sharing rights. So, if an out-of-town employee or client is working out of your office and needs to quickly print their boarding pass for the flight home, then you can share cloud printer access with them and they can print right from their smartphone or laptop.

3. Enhanced Security

Instead of having hardware within your office, cloud storage is housed in a data center, providing enterprise level security, which is cost prohibitive for most individual businesses. There is also no single point of failure in the cloud because your data is backed up to multiple servers. This means that if one server crashes, your data stays safe because it is stored in other locations. The potential risk of hardware malfunction minimizes since your data is safely stored in redundant locations.

4. Remote Accessibility

Aside from cloud-ready printers, cloud-based printing services can also sync with the existing network-connected printer at your home or office. Once your device is synced with the cloud server, it doesn’t matter from where you’re printing or even if the printer is hundreds or more miles away.

This is a major boon for home office workers and telecommuters. If you’re giving a virtual presentation during a meeting using a video conferencing service and want everyone sitting around the conference table to have your report in their hands, then you can print copies of the report from your home office directly to that printer in the corner of the conference room. An employee whose desk is right next to the printer is no different from a user printing to that machine from another country.

5. Scalable Service

With cloud storage, you pay for what you use, as you use it. You do not need to anticipate how much storage space you will need for the year and risk paying for unused space or running short. You can adjust the resources available through cloud storage providers and pay based on your current needs, modifying as they change.

It also takes some pain out of expanding your workforce. Connected printers give IT admins one less headache to worry about when setting up a new employee’s company desktop or laptop, provisioning their mobile device with mobile device management (MDM) software, or a laundry list of other tasks ensuring that a user’s endpoints are secure and compliant with company policy. When it’s time to set up that employee’s printer access, it just works.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 6:10:35 AM and is filed under Small-Medium Business.

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