Not so long ago, starting a small business meant investing significant amounts of money in computers, networking equipment and servers. But in the last couple of years things have changed dramatically. It’s now possible to run a small business on nothing more than a couple of computers and cloud services, eliminating servers all together. Of course this doesn’t work for every small business, but for those who fall in to this category it’s a huge money saver.
At Axiom IT we focus on helping small businesses reduce and eliminate on-site servers and large upfront costs by utilising cloud services where possible. In this series I’ll share with you the insights and knowledge we have gained along the way.
In the context of small business, I like to think of IT as a set of core services required to keep a business operational. They typically include;
- Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- File sharing
- Accounting software
- Industry Specific CRM (usually, but not always)
Traditionally, when a business grew beyond 2-3 people it would invest in a server to take care of Email, File Sharing, a centralised location for Accounting software and CRM. Windows Small Business Server stood out as the most popular choice.
Business owners who have walked this path will know all too well the large upfront cost involved. Combined with the on-going cost of maintenance to keep the server running, it quickly becomes an expensive investment.
Fortunately, the maturity of cloud based services for business provides small businesses with an alternative to the large upfront costs associated with a server. But cloud services operate on a different paradigm, and with that comes a different set of challenges. There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing cloud services; price, security, reputation, support are the most important. This presents an important question – which service(s) do you choose?
I could write for days on the pros and cons of each cloud service. The reality is that each business is slightly different and so too are their needs. For that reason, I’ve broken this article in to a series of series of articles, each addressing one of the core services mentioned earlier. Join me on the journey and I guarantee you’ll walk away with a great understanding of cloud services for Australian small businesses as it applies in 2015. To subscribe, enter your email address below.
NewsletterSubscribe to our newsletter for the latest news on the Cloud and Office 365 products.