Small businesses that avoid cloud services are spending more money than they need to. At least that’s what findings from business software companies Exact and Pb7 research would suggest. These findings showsmall businesses that made a move to the cloud doubled their profits and achieved a 25 per cent increase in revenue growth through the virtualization of their data.

But first, what is IT virtualization? Virtualization is the creation of a virtual, as opposed to actual, “something.” This can be a server, storage device, network resources or an operating system. Moreover, IT virtualization can also be described as “consolidation and availability of resources to enable cost savings and efficient data centre utilization.”

Just how cost savings are achieved by virtualizing with the cloud is surprisingly simple with the six reasons below.

1. Switching to the cloud reduces hardware purchasing costs

Businesses spend huge sums of money on the hardware their employees need to perform their work. Costs only compound as businesses get larger and hardware demands more extensive. When switching to cloud, a lot of these costs are eliminated and replaced with a low-cost alternative that does all the work.

2. Switching to the cloud eliminates the cost of hardware installation and repairs

By switching to cloud computing, business owners can remove the need for equipment that requires expensive upkeep. By the time one considers the costs of installation, maintenance, repairs and utility usage, the benefit is clear. Money that was once meant for hardware maintenance can be allocated to other areas of a business where it is most needed.

3. Cloud computing reduces the need for IT staff

Less hardware means less IT staff, which means payroll money back into the business. A new industry of “cloud tech” jobs now exist, and companies can keep staff low when switching to cloud computing. Regardless of the amount of staff normally used, businesses stand to save money by downsizing and utilizing saved money elsewhere.

4. Cloud computing creates more office space

Gone are the days when a business needs a server room, large pieces of equipment and high-capacity desktops to run a network effectively. By virtualizing data in the cloud, server rooms and bulky desktops can become a thing of the past. Where bulky hardware once existed, a wireless network is all that is needed to replace it. Even better is the fact that employees no longer need a complex system to access a business network outside of the workplace. Employee engagement is enhanced when one can easily access files from any location via the cloud.

5. Cloud computing improves collaboration and saves time

The great thing about cloud computing is that it can be used at any time on almost any device with an internet connection. For businesses with remote employees that need to stay connected, this can be invaluable. Business teams across the globe can collaborate in real time faster than ever before. This means no scattered email attachments, shared calendars and task lists. It also means no need to download or install any specific program software.

Employees only need to sign up for a service and access the program over the Internet. They can connect through instant messaging and hold impromptu meetings with clear audio, video and web conferencing capabilities. Certain services even allow clients to join web conferences and speak directly with a business.

6. Reduced costs from greater reliability

Going back to reduced maintenance and upkeep costs, not having hardware means not having hardware that can break down. As failure is not an option, cloud services are very stringent about making sure such things never happen. Just about all cloud services have dedicated, experienced IT staff, which means that any problems they have are likely to be resolved faster than by a business with limited IT resources.

All and all, the cloud has both economic and organizational value that will leapfrog your business into the new tech-savvy business environment.

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