Cloud services for small businesses

Working from the cloud, is certainly the best option for SMB’s (Small and Medium Businesses) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has testified to the efficiency of cloud services for business. According to them, ‘It allows access on-demand, through the Internet, to a set of shared and configurable resources, whether they are networks, servers or applications that can be quickly assigned and released with minimal management or communication with the service provider.”

For small and medium-sized companies all over the world, it seems like a very interesting option. Cloud computing is already one of the technologies that largely determine the strategy and future plans of companies. This is evident in the use of cloud services when proposing and developing technological projects by suppliers, experts, and professionals from the IT world.

This article intends to shed more light on cloud services, how they impact small businesses and providers who have the most suitable tools to allow smaller companies fully integrate into the cloud.

What does the cloud mean for SMB’s?

First of all, we must point out that the cloud is more than just technology. The cloud is a way of consuming technology; it is a business enabler that helps bridge the gap between small enterprises and their larger counterparts.

Cloud computing technology has eliminated the entry barriers that SMEs encountered when trying to benefit from ICT in the past, such as costs, aged, or difficult to management.

With cloud computing, small companies can compete favorably in IT when it comes to enhancing their competitiveness, since it allows companies to be more agile and make more efficient business decisions.

Has the cloud already been definitively introduced in SMB’s?

We are at a time when the answer is: definitely yes.

Perhaps many companies are not aware that when they allow their employees to check emails from anywhere and on any device, or when they share and edit documents together, they are using cloud solutions.

Cloud computing has been such a revolution that sometimes, we use it without even being aware. Generally, cloud services have undoubtedly penetrated the business world.

Statistics released by experts in August showed that spending on cloud infrastructure, platform, software as a service, etc has surpassed USD 30 billion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. And the global public cloud computing market is set to exceed $330 billion in 2020.

There are studies that affirm that this year, at least half of the investment of companies in IT will go to the cloud. SMB’s are specifically contributing impressively to this boom in cloud spending.

In 2016 SMB’s budgeted an average of USD1.6 million for cloud spending for the year, which rose to USD 2.2 million in 2018 (A 36% increase in two years), and has continued to rise to date. The growth speed is incredible considering that SMB cloud spending has more than doubled from 2016 till 2020.

What cloud tools are the most widespread among SMB’s?

It is difficult to give a generic answer. The specific tools depend a lot on the sector, the needs of the company, or the business model of the company. Practically, as we said earlier, all companies are already using a cloud service without being aware of it.

The multi-device email is probably the most widespread cloud service in use by SMB’s, the same as e-commerce stores. Others like Google Drive, Dropbox, Office 365, among others, are also popular among small businesses.

Public cloud for SMB’s

In recent years, the Public Cloud has been the most demanded by SMB’s.

In fact, according to Hosting Tribunal,
41% of small and medium businesses prefer using the public cloud: Here,
44% of SMBs invest in single or multiple public clouds;
24% invest in a single public cloud, while 61% prefer a multi-cloud.

The business workload is less for SMB’s than for large companies, so it is expected that their yearly budget for cloud services will be less as well. With public cloud services, SMB’s can have access to resources such as storage, servers, and computing power, even with a small budget.

It’s cost-saving (no need to purchase or maintain new additional hardware) and flexibility (scale resources up or down according to your needs) benefits are also something that SMB’s enjoy throughout their subscription.

We can’t also forget the ability of the public cloud to help SMB’s simplify software management, enhance mobile capabilities and meet reliability & uptime targets. This can be seen with online banking, free email hosting, etc.

What are the most obvious benefits of the cloud for SMB’s?

Cost reduction is the most striking benefit and one that most directly impacts the income statement of SMB’s. 82% of small and medium businesses have reported a significant reduction in operational costs after fully integrating cloud technology in their business. Best of all, 70% report that they reinvest the saved money back into their business. This savings can be linked to the elimination of costs associated with the acquisition of hardware and software licenses.

With cloud technology, SMB’s can launch IT projects more quickly and easily, without draining resources on technical teams, with better levels of service for both internal and external clients, while accelerating digital transformation and strategic decision making. This has a multiplier effect on competitiveness, by allowing companies to focus on their business and their customers, and not on the technology they need.

Can the cloud generate more business for SMB’s?

Of course! Surely the best example is the cloud solutions for online sales, which allow SMB’s start selling online by themselves and opens a direct door to new national and international markets. But it isn’t the only one: if a technical department uses cloud solutions that are easy to manage and can delegate the management to its provider, it will be able to launch many more projects more quickly and this dynamism will allow the company to generate more business in other areas.

For example, if you can implement CRM (Customer Relationship Management) without it eating deep into the company budget, the remaining funds can be invested in other parts of the business for better customer service.

Great cloud solutions for small businesses

Small businesses did not often have the latest and greatest business tools. They could only be accessed by large corporations, who had the financial and human resources to purchase and implement them. But now, things are a lot different with cloud services.

The rapid growth of cloud computing services have made access to new technologies easier than ever before, allowing small businesses to use the same tools and applications used by technological giants.

Each company is unique, in the same way, that each entrepreneur is.

When talking about great cloud solutions for businesses, there are things to consider, such as the sector of activity to which it will be dedicated, as well as computing and technological needs. The size of the company is also one of the most important factors to look at.

It is clear that, for example, an SMB does not generate (or manage) the same amount of data as a multinational. It is also clear that the investment capacity is different as well. For this reason, not every cloud solution will be adequate for SMB’s. SMB’s need cloud solutions that offer greater flexibility; a solution that is designed specifically for them.

Below we are going to focus on two major cloud providers that offer the best solutions for small companies:

G Suite

From Google itself, SMB’s can use a comprehensive set of business applications at a very low cost. G Suite has everything necessary to meet the needs of a small business in terms of communication and business management on the Internet.

Some people may ask, what is G Suite? G Suite is a set of Google business tools, hosted in the cloud and accessible through the Internet from any device. This implies that we will not have to acquire software licenses or replicate the installation of programs on multiple computers. Instead, through a subscription fee, we will have access to a series of applications, from email, to a complete office suite, to teamwork tools, among others.

G Suite features include:
Gmail or Corporate Email:

When it comes to using it at a business level, G Suite provides an email that will no longer be @, but will be renamed as your company’s domain (for example @ This will generate a much more professional and serious perception of the company.

Synchronized calendar in the organization:

This is the Google cloud calendar to manage your schedule. At the business level, the calendar is one of the most frequently used applications that helps teams to synchronize, find spaces to schedule, and know the availability of each team member at all times. It saves a lot of time and is perfect for managing your agenda when synchronized on your smartphone.

Secure and centralized conversations with chat:

G Suite provides the team with instant messaging/communication tools in the cloud (Hangouts for chats and video conferencing) controlled by the company, synchronized with the rest of the tools and that can be monitored conveniently.

Drive for Cloud Documents:

Google Drive is Google’s file hosting solution, which is integrated with other elements, such as Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. The main advantage of these tools is that they are 100% in the cloud and this eliminates problems associated with version, synchronization, etc. There is no need to send attachments to other collaborators and they are available from any device connected to the Internet.

What does G Suite bring to small businesses? As we mentioned at the beginning, G Suite makes a series of professional tools available to small businesses, including:


Using the Gmail platform, Google enables small businesses to have corporate email without a complicated setup.

File storage:

With G Suite we will have storage space for our company’s files. Accessible from any device with an Internet connection and easily sharable with other team members.

Office suite:

Google’s service includes the use of its office automation applications, which allow online editing of text documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

Access from anywhere:

As in other cloud computing services, G Suite is available from any computer with an Internet connection, providing flexibility to small businesses when working, whether from the office, on the road, or from home.

Communication and collaboration tools:

G Suite offers small businesses messaging, calling, and video applications to effectively coordinate their work teams.


The entire G Suite package has very high-security measures to protect and recover information from loss or theft of devices.

Microsoft Office 365

Virtually everyone has used the Windows file creation and editing tools like Office. Within the new context of cloud computing, Microsoft has evolved the concept of its tools. From a new demand for integration and connectivity, Office 365 emerged.

A diversified experience of the Office platform that allows the acquisition of all its modules, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, among others, in SaaS plans, or Software as a Service. That is, when using Office 365, you access its features through the browser, eliminating any type of direct installation on your device, which minimizes compatibility problems and facilitates use.

Another version does have the, much richer featured, full Desktop application versions of Word, Excell etc. Microsoft works with two versions of the platform, one aimed at medium & large organizations and another designed specially to meet the demands of small businesses.

The features of Office 365 include:
  • Outlook: e-mail tool;
  • Word: creating and editing text documents;
  • Excel: creating and editing spreadsheets;
  • PowerPoint: creating and editing presentations;
  • Access: creation and editing of databases.

All programs can be accessed through web browsers or through applications distributed by Microsoft. In addition, Office 365 is compatible with tablets, smartphones, PCs, and Macs.

You might be wondering what Office 365 bring to small businesses. Well, the platform can bring many gains to your company in terms of productivity and efficiency.

Below, we have made a list of some of its key advantages, over other tools and even its previous and offline versions:

Offers apps for tablets and phones:

One of Microsoft’s premises when taking the Office platform to the cloud and creating version 365 is to allow greater collaboration and increase team productivity. Thinking about it, the company developed unique applications for tablets and smartphones.

Thus, there is an almost immediate productivity gain, since all users can access e-mails and documents directly on their device, with a few clicks.

Enables online storage:

Office 365 subscribers are entitled to use 1 TB of cloud storage through another Microsoft application, OneDrive. A basic estimate, taking into account an average file size, allows us to say that such a space would be enough to store 1 million documents, 200 thousand songs, or 400 thousand photos.

Another point about online storage is that you can rest assured about data security, since everything will be saved in the cloud environment, using protection technologies and backups to avoid losses.

Share files and edit in real time:

With Office 365, file sharing is made quick and easy. These shared files can be edited at the same time, and changes will be viewed in real-time by everyone, which ensures more productivity.

In addition, you can use your Office 365 subscription on 5 devices (desktop, notebook, smartphone, tablet etc), which makes remote work more convenient.

Delivers greater ease of communication:

Office 365 brought a complete integration of its tools, including the possibility of using Teams when editing documents, without the need to open another browser tab or the solution app.

In other words, when editing a file, if a question arises, just call another employee via Teams or Skype directly on the platform by means of an instant message, allowing greater integration between the team. In addition, the benefits of Teams and Skype being integrated with Office 365 includes the sharing of large files, high-definition video conferencing, and scheduling meetings with the calendar.

Constant updates:

As it is a cloud solution, we have another great advantage, which is the constant updating of the software by Microsoft. As access is done through the browser, we are always using the latest version of the tool. Microsoft releases monthly updates aiming to insert new functionalities, improving security, avoiding failures, and looking for corrections.

Is the cloud the inevitable future for all companies?

At least it will be for the vast majority, specifically SMB’s. Some forecasts suggest that 78% of small businesses will fully adopt cloud computing technology by 2020, and one in four traditional businesses could disappear if it does not carry out its digital transformation.

Fortunately, companies are aware of this and in a very short time, half of the companies in different countries will be working in the IaaS model. And when this moment of implementation is consolidated, we will be entering a new stage where companies and entrepreneurs begin to explore the possibilities of the cloud beyond what we know, establishing new business models.

Just as electricity was the first step to open the way to non-existent industries such as energy, electronics, computing, television, or household appliances; cloud computing can be the basis for the birth of sectors and companies that do not even exist today.