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Cloud computing is no longer a mysterious technology. Thanks to Google, Amazon, and other companies from tech to entertainment, the majority of us take cloud storage and integrated services for granted. Despite this, many small business owners are reluctant to transfer their workflows, business data, and client information to the cloud. Here are three facts small businesses should know as they consider a move into the cloud.

Cloud computing is more than a data storage solution. Many organizations indeed turn to the cloud when digital data loads become too large for in-house servers, but this isn’t always a business’ primary reason for a switch. Cloud computing services offer service packages that are updated regularly, incorporate security protocols, and are highly scalable.

Along with storage and software-as-a-service packages, small businesses can make use of data recovery plans or choose development platforms that are otherwise unaffordable for typical start-ups.

Not all service level agreements are equal. One of the main drivers behind cloud solutions is flexibility. In terms of payment options, available services, security, infrastructure, team size, industry regulations, and business protocols, no small businesses are alike. As a result, word-of-mouth recommendations or aggressive marketing campaigns are no substitute for a thorough investigation of multiple cloud providers.

Before signing a service level agreement with a cloud provider, consider the provider’s encryption standards and security certifications its backup data plans as well as its data transfer speed. Also, choosing to bundle services will save money. Make certain your SLA’s costs, and services are clear.

Cloud computing does not mean the end of your IT team. If your small business has a small IT team, then a switch to the cloud might seem threatening. You may no longer need to rely on your team for software updates, secure access permissions, or 24/7 support. As a result, an IT team might be resistant when the time comes to switch to the cloud. Fortunately, hybrid cloud computing is a practical solution for many small businesses. It allows sensitive data to remain in-house while less-sensitive data is stored in the cloud.

Once small businesses know the facts of cloud computing, they find it an efficient and cost-effective way to manage resources and optimize in-house talent.