Exploring the Benefits of Cloud Services for Small Businesses

What different types of Cloud Services are out there? And how can they help Small Businesses add value and efficiency in their organisation?

For small businesses, a solution that drastically improves productivity or efficiency, or which helps them cut costs, can be a real game changer. One of the biggest game changers of the last 2 decades has been cloud computing; with the ability to move workloads off-site, business no longer need to rely on their premises to work, and they no longer need to invest in on-premise infrastructure hardware like servers and storage arrays. When we spoke to a company that provides IT support for Charities, with a specific focus on small businesses, they said that cloud services can be transformative for smaller organisations.

How Do Cloud Services Work?

Most people think of things like cloud storage when they hear people talking about cloud services – but in a business context, they tend to be more diverse in application and functionality. So, how exactly do cloud services work? It generally comes down to what is being provided in the service, and what level of control businesses (the end-user) has over the resources they are paying to access.

Providing Infrastructure

Cloud services can offer businesses a huge amount of control over the resources. For example, many cloud service providers offer Infrastructure as a service. This is where the business in question pays to access the underlying infrastructure that supports a cloud – from there, they can build an ecosystem, from the ground up, that is tailored to their needs.
Providing Platforms – Businesses may also want some of the infrastructure already build, making it easier for them to build out their environment (but at the cost of having less control). This is known as Platform as a service. With this type of service, the cloud environment that business use is already built, and they populate it with their applications and workloads.

Providing End-User Products

Sometimes, businesses are just looking for software products that are more flexible than conventional products. This is known as Software as a service. It is where business pay to only access a final product that is hosted in the cloud. Many apps and services nowadays use a software as a service model.

This is the foundation of how businesses access cloud services; based on these models, there are many different cloud products and services on the market. According to a company we spoke to that provides IT support Guildford companies have relied on for many years, cloud services like these have helped many companies adopt modern work practices like remote and hybrid working.

Examples of Cloud Services and How They Benefit SMBs

So, we know that cloud services differ in a number of ways, and can be used in different ways, but how exactly do they benefit small businesses? Below are some examples of the different cloud services and how they do just that…

Infrastructure as a Service

As we mentioned before, IaaS offers businesses the greatest amount of control over their cloud environment. Some examples of IaaS are Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services. These types of services are beneficial to businesses because it allows them to build a tailored environment that meets all of their needs. It also allows them to relinquish the need for servers and on-premise infrastructure, which allows them to be more flexible about how they work.

Platform as a Service

PaaS is generally used by businesses to create their own cloud software solutions. They can upload a software instance onto the platform, and then they will be able to deploy it to all of their staff. According to a company we spoke to that is a provider of business IT support London companies rely on, PaaS can even allow businesses to start building cloud-based services for their customers – thus generating greater value and new potential for income.