Though once considered a mysterious, nebulous technological innovation that was the stuff of the distant future, the cloud is as mainstream today as the home computer. Web users by the millions take advantage of the cloud to gain access to the storage solutions they've been looking for without having to take into account the added space that on-premise systems require. Based on a newly released survey, a majority of business owners in America today are turning to the cloud for more than only data protection purposes.
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom run at least a portion of their day-to-day operations via the cloud, according to enterprise software company Intuit, TechRepublic reported. That's up substantially from 2015, when cloud use was less than 40 percent.
Approximately 2,000 small-business owners were included in the study, each commanding between one and 50 employees, in the previously mentioned four countries.
Vinay Pai, Intuit Developer Platform president, indicated that the rapid adoption of the cloud is nothing if not expected.
"That same expectation has bled over into how they're running their business, looking to using apps for invoicing, billing and time management," Pai told TechRepublic.
Cloud viewed as more secure
In addition to its intuitiveness and accessibility, the cloud is highly regarded for its security bona fides. In a separate poll by business-to-business software solutions firm Clutch, 90 percent of small and medium-sized cloud-using companies pointed to it as being more secure than on-site backup.
Furthermore, the cloud enhances productivity, something that virtually every business could use in greater amounts, even if a given company is functioning like a well-oiled machine. Among their biggest struggles, 40 percent of respondents in the Intuit survey pointed to controlling costs and reducing unnecessary spending, TechRepublic reported.
Cloud feeding ground for enterprise software
Supporting the notion that the cloud's efficiencies extend beyond the security and storage realm is Joshua Greenbaum, analyst for Enterprise Applications Consulting. Greenbaum recently spoke at Rock Stars of Cybersecurity Threats and Countermeasures, a summit held in Seattle on Sept. 13. In a statement released in July that announced the summit, Greenbaum referenced how more enterprise software is being introduced in the cloud, which is attracting businesses. Enhanced lifecycle management and more pliable resources are also major draws.
"The cloud is not impregnable to security threats."
The cloud is not impenetrable, however, as security walls can be breached when precautions aren't taken. David Kennedy, chief executive and founder of an Ohio-based information security consulting firm, told CNBC earlier this year that third-party security providers have proven vulnerable to hacking.
Though the cloud is an option for business owners, no one would suggest that it's incapable of being accessed for malevolent purposes. This is why it's important to establish a business continuity plan, which is what Continuity Centers specializes in. Continuity Centers offers a one-of-a-kind security system called Instant Business Recovery. As its name implies, this quick, one-click technology takes just 60 seconds to restore data that has been compromised. IBR capability is literally at business owners' fingertips and can be rolled out for servers held on premise, off premise or in the cloud and using Microsoft Windows operating systems.