It’s an understatement to say cloud computing is growing, and at this point everyone is aware of the acceleration of cloud. According to Gartner, more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud overthe next five years. The cloud has generated a technology revolution for SMBs that offers up a range of capabilities that otherwise can only be afforded by enterprises. With this rapid growth, the value of cloud education is crucial and can only help you grow in the long run. This guest blog from our partners at RapidScale goes into details on the benefits provided by cloud computing.

Let’s briefly go over the top four benefits of cloud computing and how it can be used to help businesses save time and money:

Managed Growth

A struggle SMBs may run into is figuring out what resources their business may need to scale without overspending. With a cloud provider, SMBs can react to their needs as they arise and obtain what they need as they grow, allowing great flexibility.

With equipment and support moved to the cloud provider, the responsibilities of managing, repairing and replacing infrastructure move as well. Many services and tasks can be automated with the cloud as well, and as these needs are eliminated on your end, you can free up your IT staff to focus on business development and strategy instead, areas which will ultimately make more money for the company. If necessary, you can even reduce your staff size. This is especially beneficial for small startups, as they are able to keep their workforce light by using cloud computing.

Improved Collaboration

With BYOD, cloud-based apps can be used anywhere, anytime on any device with an Internet connection – a benefit that leads to better collaboration. It opens possibilities for remote workers who may need to get in touch in real-time with clients who need a document or impromptu meetings via audio, Web, or video. Cloud computing enables companies of all sizes to react quickly to business opportunities, never skipping a beat in making business. While this creates dozens of new ways for businesses to operate, it also helps with cost savings. Companies save an average of $350 per year per employee with a BYOD policy in place.

Business Mobility

Now that business collaboration has improved, agility comes into play. The ability to deliver results quicker and with more predictable timing gives a business a great competitive edge. With the cloud, your business data is not stored on physical devices sitting in an office – instead, it’s stored virtually, making it accessible to your users at all times from a secure location. Having this mobility as a competitive advantage simplifies your needs and lowers your costs. Users are able to use devices they already own, like tablets, mobile phones or laptops, to be productive away from the office. Having the agility to work anywhere, anytime also saves your employees the commute to work and even eliminates the need for a physical office.

Decreased Capital Expense

It should be obvious by now that shifting from a Capital Expense (CapEx) model to an Operational Expense (OpEx) model can reduce costs tremendously. OpEx frees up cash that can be reallocated to other sectors of an organization. Businesses have the ability to eliminate hardware and move into a virtual cloud environment, which gets rid of constant maintenance and upgrades on traditional technology. The cloud works hand and hand with the operational expense model.

The ongoing evolution of cloud computing is a result of the need for businesses to manage financial situations. With a pay-as-you-go solution, businesses can venture out to new markets without investing in extremely pricey resources up front. Cloud computing allows this in a quick manner, with the ability to either increase or decrease resources at any time. Businesses will also see a positive affect on how they manage their daily operations and how they engage their clients and employees with a little help from a cloud provider