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What can the cloud do for SMBs in 2018?

Cloud services can offer a lot of benefits to SMBs.

Cloud services can offer a lot of benefits to SMBs.

While department heads and business leaders across the New York metropolitan area are busy finalizing their 2018 budgets, they face some tough choices. IT assets, in particular, may hit the chopping block as organizations look to cut unnecessary expenses. For years, IT has dealt with the stigma of being perceived as a "cost center" to business operations: Money goes in, but it doesn't come out.

That narrow view ignores the potential business benefits of investing in IT services – provided, of course, that they are properly allocated. When looking at ROI-boosting IT services, consider what the cloud can do for your organization. Small and medium-sized businesses especially will find a lot to like.

Reduce maintenance expenses

One of the reasons SMBs are so hesitant to expand current IT budgets is that they spend so much money on simply maintaining their existing infrastructure and assets. This ongoing issue feeds into the myth of IT as a cost center and prevents IT departments from moving beyond a firefighting or "keeping the lights on" capacity. A recent survey jointly conducted by Forbes and BMC discovered that nearly a third of organizations dedicate at least half of their IT budget to ongoing maintenance. It's no wonder so many businesses view IT as an expense and nothing more.

"SMBs will find a lot to like with the cloud."

SMB cloud services can take the burden of ongoing maintenance off the shoulders of on-site staff. There's no need to spend a fortune on regular upkeep for servers and other critical assets, because that responsibility falls to your service provider. That puts more money back into your IT budget for business-focused and value-driven endeavors.

Furthermore, offloading maintenance requirements to your cloud service provider frees up time for IT staff to pursue more innovative projects that align with your business objectives.

Expand your business's capabilities

The cloud isn't just about reducing costs – it can significantly ramp up access to resources and assets at a moment's notice. The scalability of the cloud is one of its major selling points, and that elasticity can be a huge boon to organizations that are starting to find their footing in their marketplace. SMBs, in particular, can benefit immensely from the ability to scale up resources as needed to keep up with their ever-changing requirements. The beauty of the cloud model is that these resources – whether they be compute, storage, etc. – can be acquired on a pay-as-you process, meaning you never pay for more than you need.

Cloud services can prevent catastrophic downtime.
Cloud services can prevent catastrophic downtime.

Protect yourself against worst-case scenarios

More so than enterprise operations, SMBs are at risk for disruptive events and the many damaging consequences that come with them. According to FEMA, 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster. Although the federal agency was referring to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and tornados, calamity can come in many forms. SMB infrastructure is susceptible to many threats like distributed denial-of-service attacks or network outages. They may not be "natural," but they can be just as disastrous.

The cloud helps safeguard against such concerns by providing the redundancy needed to get critical systems and applications back online. Downtime can be a killer for any organization, but SMBs in particular need to worry about its lingering associated costs. With best-of-breed SMB cloud services, businesses can minimize downtime even in the worst conditions.

When reviewing your IT budget for next year, consider carving out a little extra space for the cloud. Cloud services help reduce costs, expand your capabilities and avert certain disaster. If you're looking for the best managed IT services NYC has to offer, be sure to turn to TEKConn.