Mar 01 2024

What Small Businesses Should Know About the Public Cloud

Moving workloads to the public cloud can offer better security, data management and compliance protocols, but there are some pitfalls too.

Harnessing the public cloud can be highly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses. The cloud offers scalability, cost efficiency and flexibility so IT leaders can right-size their data storage, paying only for what they need.

Here are some of the major benefits, challenges and best practices for small businesses migrating workloads to the public cloud:  

Click the banner to learn how to advance your cloud journey.

The Biggest Benefits of Public Cloud for Small Businesses

The public cloud offers small businesses a range of benefits. The biggest one? Scalability. Small businesses can adjust their cloud usage as their IT infrastructure and data requirements change, giving them more control over their operational and capital expenditures as their business changes over time.

The public cloud also enables IT leaders to do the following:

Improve security and compliance: IT leaders can implement routine security measures to protect their data and applications. With the help of a managed service provider, small businesses can go one step further and use encryption, access controls and multifactor authentication to secure sensitive information.

Ensure backup and disaster recovery: The public cloud offers a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan. IT leaders can test recovery procedures and review data in the cloud-based backup. And because potential service outages and interruptions are inevitable, this means business operations will be more protected and cyber resilient. 

Automate routine tasks and processes: IT leaders can use orchestration tools to manage complex workflows and deployments effectively. This can free up teams to do more innovative work.

RELATED: How can these small business solutions and services help your team?

Some Challenges of Migrating Workloads to Public Cloud

Overall, the benefits exceed the challenges, but there are a few pitfalls small businesses should know.

Potential latency issues: The further away your data lives from where you are, the greater the chance of a delay. For work that you access every day, keep the data on-premises. Everything else should move to the cloud.

Avoid vendor lock-in: When it comes to the cloud, having more options is better than relying solely on a single cloud provider. So even as your small business subscribes to a public cloud plan, consider adopting multicloud or hybrid cloud strategies to avoid vendor lock-in. Hybrid cloud is often the best fit for small businesses as it allows them to keep some workloads on-premises and others in the cloud.  

Data transfer costs: Pay attention to data transfer costs when moving large volumes of data into and out of the cloud. Remember, not all your data needs to live in the public cloud, so reduce unnecessary data transfers.

Security and compliance risks: Improperly configured security settings or inadequate compliance measures can expose your business to security breaches. Stay informed about security best practices and regularly audit your cloud environment for vulnerabilities.

Overprovisioned resources: Avoid overprovisioning resources and paying high bills by regularly monitoring your cloud plan and adjusting it as needed.

READ MORE: Maximize the business value of your hybrid cloud environment. 

To Maximize the Public Cloud, Solicit the Help of a Tech Partner

There’s a saying that “public cloud isn’t a science, it’s an art.” A tech partner like CDW can help you design your cloud strategy to do well, whatever you want.

With specialized skills and expertise, small businesses can build out their custom public cloud infrastructure. CDW can also help IT leaders weigh the long-term costs of migrating data to the cloud, compare public cloud’s capabilities with on-premises solutions or integrate cloud technologies into existing workflows.

Whatever you decide, success in the public cloud means considering all these factors so that ultimately, your cloud strategy aligns with your business objectives.

This article is part of BizTech's AgilITy blog series.


Thitima Uthaiburom / Getty Images

Learn from Your Peers

What can you glean about security from other IT pros? Check out new CDW research and insight from our experts.