Cloud server hosting may sound like yet another product or service to nickel-and-dime small business owners, but this perception couldn’t be further from the truth.
Using a cloud-based server is convenient and safe, so safe that it could one day actually save your business.
What’s a Cloud Server Anyway?
Before we dive straight into a technical explanation of cloud server hosting, let’s paint a scene. Consider this:
Let’s say you own a pet supply store with a single location. You’ve been in business for over 20 years. In fact, you learned everything you know from your grand dad and he managed his shop the very old-fashioned way, with pen and paper! But you, being the modern business owner that you are, use a computer to store all your customer data.
That computer is its own little server, called an in-house server. (Larger businesses might have a larger server located in an out-of-the-way place, which all of the computers connect to). Your customer data can only be accessed on this computer. If you need technical support for your computer, you call a local computer repair person to assist you. And if the computer crashes, you will lose 20 years’ worth of names and addresses, as well as all your other business records. But you’ve thought about this, so you back-up your data regularly to a thumb drive. Smart!
On the other hand, you could choose a cloud server. Instead of storing your data to a specific server that can only be accessed by a specific machine(s), your data is stored online. You can access it from any device, pay only for the amount of server activity or space you need, benefit from integrated apps like email and website hosting, and also have access to IT support.
Perfect for Busy Business Owners
Have you accumulated several different devices over the years, like a smartphone or tablet to go along with your personal laptop and business desk top? Cloud server hosting allows you to manage your business from all of these devices, making it easy to access important information on the go. You can take care of paperwork from home via your laptop, since all of your files are readily accessible. You could look up a reference number on your phone while running errands, or you could look at financial documents on your tablet while you wait in a coffee shop before a meeting. Your day-to-day business activities don’t have to be bound to a single location any more.
Keeps Your Data Safer
Protecting your data is your number one priority. Let’s go back to our example: you as a small business owner without cloud server hosting. You backed up your computer every Friday to a thumb drive attached to your key chain. This worked for you for years, but one day someone pinched your keys and took off with your car. What a nightmare! There go all of your back-ups. And it gets worse: just a few days later, before you’ve had a chance to get a new thumb drive and make new copies of your data, disaster strikes. A tornado hits your store. Everything, including your computer, is ruined.
Fortunately, you have insurance to help you get the store back up and running. But no amount of insurance can replace the valuable data that has been lost. You no longer have the names and addresses of your customers to send out mail marketing campaigns, for one. Filing your taxes this year will certainly be a big headache.
And the more you try to piece back your store, the more you realize how much you counted on that computer and all its data. It’s like pulling a muscle: when every move you make twinges that sore muscle, you realize how much you’ve taken it for granted! You never knew how important it was.
Best of all, cloud server hosting is an affordable option that makes it easy for you to expand your business, since you only pay for what you actually use. The safety and convenience of cloud server hosting make it an option that is second to none.
Based in Louisville, KY, Cathy Habas makes a living as a freelance writer, editor and Spanish-English translator. Cathy is currently working as one of the Content Marketer at BuildNicheLinks. Professionally, she enjoys helping startups create eye-popping and effective websites. Personally, she’s always on the lookout for gadgets that make life easy.