There was once a drought. Rain was scarce and animals great and small were in search of water. The creek beds were bare. Ponds dried up. Even the rivers ran low.
During the dry spell, a crow happened across an abandoned pitcher with a little bit of water sitting at the bottom. But there was a problem. The neck of the pitcher was narrow, and the crow’s beak could not reach far enough in to touch the water.
But crows are clever creatures, and this crow set about devising a solution to the problem at hand.
Spotting some small stones near the pitcher, the crow plucked up a pebble and dropped it into the pitcher. The water rose just a bit. Seeing progress, the crow continued to drop rocks into the pitcher until the water rose high enough that he could drink.
Where Fables Meet Reality
You may have heard that story before. It’s one of Aesop’s fables. What you may not know is that it’s closer to reality than you would expect.
A few years ago, a group of researchers wanted to see if actual crows would prove as clever as the crows of myth and legend. They were not disappointed.
Four crows were put to the test, presented with exactly the same dilemma: a pitcher with a narrow neck and water at the bottom. All four crows used rocks to raise the water level so they could take a drink. As one article summarized, “According to the researchers, the only other animal known to perform this kind of task is the orangutan . . . ”
What Do Crows Have to Do with Cloud Solutions?
If we were talking about clouds in the sky, you could probably think of several connections right off the top of your head. But cloud solutions? As in IT network tools? What do crows have to do with those?
From our point of view, a lot.
In the fable, the crow is met with a specific problem. Rather than lamenting the problem, giving up, or flying away in search of another source of water, the crow used the tools at hand to produce the desired results. That’s exactly the same kind of thinking that make cloud solutions a powerful resource for small businesses.
Are there other ways to deal with your day-to-day challenges? You bet. Do you have to adopt cloud solutions in order to be successful? No, not at all.
But the cloud provides SMBs with quick, flexible, intuitive solutions that solve several common business problems. And that’s why 90% of organizations use the cloud in some way. In fact, more than 50% of all organizations actually prefer cloud solutions.
Let’s explore a few of the advantages of cloud solutions.
Customized to the Hilt
Cloud solutions are hardly one-size-fits-all. Unlike so many out-of-the-box solutions, cloud solutions come with some impressive options. That just makes sense. Your business is unique. Your tools should be unique, as well.
Here’s what that looks like in practical terms.
You won’t have to rework your entire internal process to match what your new CRM (or inventory tracking software or recordkeeping platform or whatever) expects you to do. You can tweak your tools to match how YOU and YOUR TEAM work.
And you can achieve that level of customization without breaking the bank. (More on that in a bit.)
Scalable for Any Size
One of the challenges for SMBs is that many are in a near-constant state of growth. If a large corporation adds 10 new employees, it’s likely no big deal. If your small business with a core team of only 20 adds 10 new heads, that’s game-changing.
As a result, it’s critical that your solutions be flexible and scalable. You can’t ditch one set of solutions and migrate to another every time you hit a new tier of growth. You need tools that will grow with you.
Cloud solutions are not only customizable but also extremely scalable. Adding new users won’t mess with the whole process. Instead, you can grow your team and your company with confidence that your cloud solutions will keep pace.
Working from Wherever
50% of all Americans have jobs that could be done remotely. Not only that but working remotely comes with a bunch of perks for your employees: greater productivity, boosts in employee satisfaction, lower stress and reduced turnover, to name a few. And cloud solutions make all that remote access magic possible.
But that’s not the only reason to embrace cloud solutions and working remotely. Even if you have no intention of giving your staff the option of remote access, there are still huge benefits to having it for yourself and your leadership team.
Imagine being on the road or in a face-to-face client meeting and still having access to all your files, tools and solutions, as if you were sitting at your own desk in your office. When you work in the cloud, you’re always connected as long as you have access to the internet.
More Secure Than You Think
Forbes recently reported that an increasing number of cybersecurity platforms take cloud solutions into account. That’s important because security has long been a concern when considering the move to cloud solutions. After all, if your precious data is out there in the cloud, how can you be sure it’s safe from cyber criminals?
As McAfee’s 2017 report, “Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky: The State of Cloud Adoption and Security,” infers, the real question for business leaders isn’t whether or not to make the move to the cloud, but how to move to the cloud securely.
There are secure cloud solutions. Finding them and implementing them is more a matter of the right cybersecurity strategy than an issue with cloud solution security in general. Our advice is to work with an IT consulting expert to ensure the right level of security for your company.
Finally, the benefit you’ve been hoping for all along. Sort of.
Many business owners are able to save money by making the move to cloud solutions. But we know better than to make lofty promises about how much the right cloud solutions will cost for your business. Instead, we’d rather speak to value.
We’re confident that the sum total of the benefits of cloud solutions will make for a better overall value for your business. Think of it as more bang for your buck. You may save money . . . or you might pay a little more for way more agility. Either way, we consider that a win.
Getting to the Good Stuff
Like the crow working to get to the water in the bottom of the pitcher, SMB owners have to tap into creativity and ingenuity to grow their businesses. Cloud solutions are an effective way to help in that effort.
If you want a leg up on the competition, the right cloud solutions can make a powerful difference.