Cloud computing is quickly moving from an obscure concept to an everyday reality for small businesses all over the world.

A 2015 survey of small business owners found that 52% had already adopted some form of cloud-based data storage; however, a general lack of awareness regarding the logistics and advantages of cloud computing has made others a bit more resistant.

The truth is, there are several very practical benefits to moving your data into the cloud, including reducing operating costs and boosting efficiency. Here are three more ways cloud computing can help your small business run even better.

Easy file-sharing with team members & clients

Businesses are increasingly decentralized. Some employees work from home, while others are on the road serving clients and making sales. Relying on email to share and collaborate on important documents can make it difficult to track files, consolidate revisions and get the right information to your client on time.

Cloud storage options like Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, and Microsoft OneDrive offer small businesses convenient access to files at work, from home – or anywhere else there is an internet connection.

Plus, it’s easy to share documents with clients, track work in progress and back-up your files to prevent data loss.

Save money on hardware and maintenance

Small businesses can easily spend thousands of dollars on the installation and maintenance of physical data storage, including:

  • setting-up the server, device, networks, facilities and other equipment
  • deployment and configuration
  • regular maintenance of back-up servers, storage, network connections and software updates.

Cloud-based storage, on the other hand, is operated and maintained by a dedicated team of experienced professionals who focus on maintenance and cyber security so your small business doesn’t have to.

Cloud based solutions are also scalable. Providers offer solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, with prices and features tailored to fit your specific needs and budget.

Online storage offers advanced data protection

Not only do cloud providers implement the latest cyber-security protection, they also offer your business safeguards to prevent data loss in case of an unforeseen disaster.

Cloud computing giants like Google can afford to have multiple data centers, each with several internet connections and the capacity to replicate data at every location. They’ve got generators to handle power outages and back-up systems that help servers keep running even if certain components fail.

Consider how your business would be impacted by a local power outage that rendered your data inaccessible? Loss of revenue and client confidence would likely be substantial. You’d be left to rely on your internal IT team to reboot your system and recover your files. This would likely be costly and time-consuming, not to mention stressful.

Cloud providers have the resources and expertise small businesses simply can’t otherwise access when it comes to data storage and protection. Tapping into their strength can help your business stay nimble, grow faster, and even compete with bigger players.