The cloud enables a small business owner to improve productivity and lower costs by outsourcing costly hardware-based processes -- such as faxing, which requires a dedicated machine, phone line, toner and paper -- to a service provider that can take on the management, and headaches, normally associated with an internal IT approach.
In order for companies to completely benefit from this type of technology shift, decision-makers should understand how signing up with a cloud service provider can lead to reducing technology expenses and headaches.
For example, business applications utilizing the cloud, like phone, messaging or fax services, can be classified as operational expenses, rather than capital expenditures. This will often help a small business save money, especially in the first five years or so, according to an InfoWorld
After the first few years, firms will start to see additional savings by reducing their IT support and maintenance fees. This can help improve cash flow and reallocate resources to make the office more productive, the news source reported.
Additionally, outsourcing services like fax and phone communications allows companies to deploy technologies faster, leading to reduced latency and improved time to market, which generates more income along the way, InfoWorld noted.
According to a report by
eMazzanti Technologies, the cloud also increases savings by lowering energy bills. Since services are outsourced to vendors' locations, the electric and cooling bills traditionally associated with maintaining an on-site data center are avoided.
For example, a small business that signs up with
eFax eliminates the need for an office fax machine, dedicated phone line, toner and paper, potentially saving hundreds of dollars over the course of the year -- not to mention the green benefits that come with reducing the need for paper and electricity.