6 Cloud Solutions You Need For Your Business

Is your business outgrowing your current IT infrastructure? This post explains the new frontier of cloud services and how they can streamline your business operations.

Are you a business owner? Do you struggle with understanding the tech side of running

your business? If so, you're not alone! Mapping out an IT infrastructure to fit your needs can prove time-consuming and costly for anyone unfamiliar with the territory. You might even feel tempted to skip it altogether. But growing your business's infrastructure can be easy. Cloud solutions for business can streamline many different parts of your day-to-day operations. Yet, many business owners don't understand the specifics of services in the cloud or how they work.

Become one of the business owners who does understand, and say goodbye to outdated physical servers cluttering up your office. Whether you plan to rep your business by participating in upcoming "I Recycle Phoenix" events or you just want a basic grasp of terminology for cloud services in Phoenix, you've come to the right place. Here, we'll provide a breakdown of different cloud service types, plus a brief rundown of how to successfully integrate new cloud services into your business. Keep reading to see how easy it can be to boost your business growth with cloud services from an experienced managed service provider.

What are the different types of cloud solutions?

The term "cloud service" describes a variety of services digitally provided to consumers on demand. In this instance, you (the business owner) are the consumer. Business News Daily cites that 92% of companies adopted a service in the cloud as an integral part of their business workings. That statistic continues trending upward. Entrepreneur found that 36% of companies globally use multiple cloud services. These numbers will likely increase over the next few years.

Utilizing cloud services isn't just a trend—it's quickly becoming a way of life for all businesses worldwide.

There are six common cloud services you'll want to be familiar with - so you can better understand how to implement them in your business. Each cloud service type serves a different purpose in streamlining the way your company functions. While the terms may seem technical, you've probably already made use of a few of these for your business. You can use the list of cloud services below to improve your knowledge of how these services work for businesses.

Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the most prevalent cloud service offerings you'll encounter. Your business might currently utilize SaaS. Most SaaS products don't require purchasing some type of hardware or physical product to use them. You can access a SaaS account from any location with any device.

Examples of SaaS include Slack or Canva. If you're enjoying a cup of joe at Lola Coffee, you can log into your SaaS account from your phone or laptop—usually with its associated app—and respond to your Slack messages or work on a graphic design while you relax.    

Backup as a Service

Have you ever used a hard drive or a USB to copy or back up your business information? Then you've used a type of Backup as a Service (BaaS). It's a good way to keep your data secure and accessible in the event some part of your hardware fails or your IT network experiences interruptions.

Backup cloud services for businesses allow you to store your data without additional physical hardware. The 3-2-1 rule is a best practice for backing up your business data:

  • Maintain three copies of all your information.
  • Use two varieties of hardware or media to store the information—such as your PC and a storage drive.
  • Store one copy of the data offsite. You can use a BaaS cloud product to serve this purpose.

Following this rule ensures that your business data remains intact no matter what happens. With cloud data storage, you protect your data without paying for your own physical servers. Because your data is safe in the cloud, you can access your information anytime, anywhere, even if your computer stops functioning or you lose a flash drive.  

Security as a Service

While cloud services for businesses provide accessibility, storage, and lots of other convenient perks, you also have to manage the risks as well. A lack of cybersecurity poses a real threat. That's where Security as a Service (SECaaS) comes in.

Using SECaaS will prevent disasters like hacking, downtime, and breaches from happening to your business. Cyber attacks that compromise customer data happen frequently, but you can protect your private information in the cloud.

Your company will look forward-thinking to the public eye, especially since most transactions occur digitally in modern society. Card numbers and other sensitive information require that you make cybersecurity a priority. SECaaS will help you reach that goal.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

If you look at disaster recovery (DRaaS) as an optional service, think again. Phoenix, AZ, doesn't commonly experience natural disasters like wildfires, tornados, or earthquakes. But that doesn't mean your business remains secure from other big problems like a building fire, breaches in data security, or human mistakes.

Regardless of whether mother nature strikes or a disgruntled ex-employee tries to breach security, your DRaaS will keep your business data updated, secure, and accessible to you and your staff. For many business owners, the difference between their business sinking or swimming lies in DRaaS.  

Desktop as a Service

Most people have some device that can access the internet and relevant business data. You can keep your employees on the same page by implementing Desktop as a Service (DaaS). As one of the most common cloud services available, it also quickly became an essential part of business functions.

DaaS allows your employees to access relevant and updated information from their own devices while keeping that data secure from outsiders. You can load pertinent items onto a protected server shared by the people who need access to those items. You can also manage permissions with DaaS, ensuring that only authorized people can access certain kinds of information.

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is at the root of all other cloud services listed above. As its name implies, it provides the infrastructure other cloud services use as they do the work they were programmed to do.

A strong IaaS ensures that other cloud solutions are adaptable and can adjust to the changing needs of your organization. It also allows you to keep track of any computers or other hardware used within your business network. Plus, IaaS offers the benefit of high scalability, so it can accommodate your business as it grows. This makes it a great option for new or growing businesses that require a flexible service.

How to integrate cloud solutions for business

Now that you understand each type of cloud solution and the role it plays, you're probably ready to consider using more cloud solutions for your own business.

Migrating to the cloud will improve the safety, accessibility, and organization of your business's data in the long run. This ensures you have more time to interact with clients and customers while making them feel like they are working with a knowledgeable company. But that's a larger undertaking. Where do you start?

Use the questions below to outline your business's needs and see how you'll benefit from different cloud solutions. Then you can narrow your options down and settle on a cloud service provider that fits your needs.

What are your goals?

First, identify the business goals you want cloud services to meet. Some common goals include:

  • Increased cyber security
  • Accessible but protected data
  • Streamlined project management

Make a list of these goals with details of where you think your business currently falls short on each front. Do a little basic research on what similar companies struggle with to help you predict potential problems. You can solve some problems before they occur while better understanding your goals.

Determine your budget, where and how you want access to the cloud, and which goals are bigger priorities. Look for solutions that will address the big priorities first—especially if you had previous issues with them.

What do you need to meet your goals?

Get an idea of the time, money, and skills it will take to reach each goal. As mentioned before, prioritizing them puts important things first.

If your business struggles with cyber security, you'll want to focus on SECaaS first. If your biggest problem is communication among the staff or meeting deadlines for important projects, then you should put project management at the top of the list. Then, you can shop around to look for the best cloud solutions for business that fit those needs.

Many niche tools available online can fit more specific needs. Often, they simply require that you download an app and register. Many provide a free trial with a small monthly fee once the trial closes. These SaaS solutions are popular if you identify one area of weakness. However, most businesses have diverse, dynamic needs that call for a more specific approach to evolve with them.  

How do you get your staff to use cloud solutions?

Getting the whole staff to use a newly adopted cloud solution is one of the biggest problems business owners encounter. Humans are creatures of habit, and that presents a challenge.

Include your staff in the process of seeking cloud solutions. Ask them for issues they've encountered and features they'd like to see. This helps your employees feel like they are an active part of the conversation while you learn more about the cloud solutions you need.

Once you're ready to implement a new cloud service, provide a tutorial or training session and ask for feedback or questions. Your staff will have an easier time integrating cloud services into their daily workday as a result.

What problems could cloud solutions present for your business?

While cloud services solve lots of problems, they may present new challenges to overcome. When you predict how each feature can malfunction or backfire, you actively prevent new problems from arising. Plus, some cloud services will provide solutions to issues with other cloud services. Check out a few common issues business owners experience:

  1. Migration: When you start using a BaaS or other storage service, you'll have to navigate the challenges of migrating all that data to a new service. This takes time and organization. You can mitigate this by partnering with a cloud service provider that offers cloud migrations as part of their services. You'll save time and money.
  2. Data privacy: You want to work with a managed IT company that stores your sensitive business information by using SaaS. Data breaches occur frequently, so research the security of the company you want to partner with. Leaked data can break a small business. Make sure the company you select has strong policies in place regarding storage, encryption, and security management.
  3. Outdated hardware: Some business owners experience the pitfalls of ancient hardware that doesn't work well with their new cloud services. This includes computers, wifi networks, and firewalls. Find a provider that offers hardware procurement as a solution. Your equipment will stay updated, maintained, and well-managed while you get the support you need.

Get your business in shape with cloud solutions

Pave the way for the future with cloud solutions designed to fit your business needs. While it takes some time to find the perfect fit, the advantages will outweigh any drawbacks once you complete the process. If it sounds like a lot to do, just think of it as a way to keep up with the changing times through your business. Complete IT can help you navigate the challenges and streamline the development process with expert advice on cloud solutions for business.