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Ahhh, the good old ‘Cloud‘. It’s been around for a while now, but it appears most small businesses just don’t know what it is and what it can really do for them. The reality is a lot of smaller businesses are inadvertently passing up the chance to save money and improve efficiency – and it’s most likely due to a misunderstanding of what cloud computing can do.

Most businesses are already using the cloud without knowing it. They have their email hosted somewhere outside of their business – at an email / website host or ISP for example. Or they use any number of online services (Online banking for example). But you’d be surprised that a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know you can do the same with almost everything. In fact, cloud computing, as much as I dislike the vagueness of the term, has dramatically lowered barriers that have prevented small businesses from operating as efficiently as much bigger ones.

Using spreadsheet software as an example, smaller operations no longer need to be hobbled by the cost of obtaining licenses to legally use spreadsheet programs that offer the functionality that more expensive tools have. The fact that these tools are offered in the cloud for free also makes it possible to save on resources that would be otherwise spent standardizing processes in businesses with multiple physical locations. The cost of secure data storage and access is also now so minuscule for the average user, that you can get away with almost no data infrastructure at all, allowing you to put more money into your ideas and making them work.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you truly care about your business technology, there’s no longer an excuse to be ignorant about The Cloud.