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Cloud computing tips for small businesses

Migrating to the cloud can offer small businesses big opportunities for digital transformation.

While Australian businesses of all sizes are increasingly taking advantage of cloud-enabled services, the benefits of cloud adoption are particularly attractive to small businesses.  

According to GlobalData, Australia’s cloud computing market is tipped to grow by 12.5% to reach $14.1bn in 20251. As the cloud puts enterprise-grade tools for tasks like product design and development, finance, and marketing within the reach of small businesses, this enables them to punch above their weight and remain nimble in the face of growing competition. 

Why the cloud works for small business 

​​​At its heart, cloud computing means making computing resources like data storage and computing power available on as-needed, on- demand basis, often via the internet.  

Cloud-enabled services allow small businesses to focus less on their own tech infrastructure and spend more time focusing on their customers. This can be especially useful to the businesses that don’t have dedicated IT resources. Not only is the cloud more cost-effective than relying on an on-premise server, it can also deliver high uptime, resilience and security.   

It is not surprising then that many small businesses have embraced the cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (Saas) model for a range of important solutions like their accounting or video conferencing solutions. 

The SaaS licence model eliminates the need for in house maintenance and support. Users are always using the latest software versions, and significant costs are saved due to removing the annual upgrades.  

Cloud-based solutions can often be accessed anytime, anywhere and on any device. This levels the playing field for hybrid ways of working for staff as well as potential rental cost reductions for small businesses.   

Many cloud services also have strong security features to protect critical business data. Giving businesses the opportunity to simplify and automate their own processes and workflows, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency while saving time and reducing costs. 

Taking advantage of the cloud

Rather than undertaking a lift-and-shift approach to recreating existing IT systems in the cloud, small businesses should instead take the opportunity to re-evaluate their operations and prioritise the applications that need to be migrated. A clearly defined cloud adoption strategy can help inform this process. 

Businesses may also benefit from viewing their cloud migration as part of a wider digital transformation – an opportunity to rethink existing models and unlock new value rather than doing things the same way in a new cloud environment.  

Another advantage of leveraging the cloud is scaling operations while only paying for what you use. This includes the ability to spin up servers and services on-demand, as well as the benefits of temporary bursts in workloads to leverage extra resources as per need. The concept of pay-as-you-go cloud computing is particularly attractive for growing businesses, as well as those which experience peaks and troughs in demand.  

It is important to consider implementing cloud orchestration tools and governance policies that give visibility into costs, performance and security. This can help a business unlock innovation while controlling costs and maximising returns on technology investments.  

A strong digital foundation for cloud adoption

A good cloud adoption strategy can ensure technology decisions are driven by business needs, rather than IT concerns. This can help implement the right cloud solutions to deliver a great employee and customer experience.  

Rather than take a big-bang approach to cloud migration, businesses may be better served by planning the transition in multiple stages. This can help deliver new service functionalities, provide productivity gains, cost savings, and can help businesses future-proof their operations in a strategic manner.  

Organisations should also evaluate whether their network and internet infrastructure has the bandwidth to properly support sophisticated cloud-based systems, which can require much higher data upload capacity than basic tasks like email and web browsing.    

​​​business nbn® services come with a range of options that service providers can use to help support organisations’ evolving cloud computing needs. These include high upload and download speeds,* to get data where it’s needed quickly and reliably, as well as the option to prioritise the data for a business’ most important applications. nbn also offers service providers the option of business-grade, 24x7 service support to help minimise the risk of business disruption and downtime. 

business nbn wholesale products and services, and a fibre-based connection now available to the vast majority of Australian businesses, organisations can feel empowered to find the right network solution that enables them to adopt cloud computing as part of their digital transformation strategy.^ 

White paper: In the cloud and on the ground. Deploying the right service for your business

As organisations look to the cloud to power digital transformation and drive efficiencies, it’s vital they have the connectivity to support it.

*Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn network, depends on the nbn access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). For business nbn Enterprise Ethernet, if your provider has not selected Class of Service – High, the speeds you experience may be affected by contention on the nbn network, particularly in busy periods. nbn Satellite end customers may also experience latency. 

^business nbn is not available on the nbn Fixed Wireless network. Not all providers offer plans based on the full range of wholesale business nbn products, product features and services. Availability of wholesale business nbn products, product features and services depends on an end customer’s access technology and area. Ask your preferred provider if they offer plans based on these wholesale business nbn products, product features and services in your area. business nbn Enterprise Ethernet is only available in the nbn Fixed Line network footprint and at limited premises served by the nbn Fixed Wireless and Satellite networks. Costs may apply; customers should contact their preferred service provider to ask about availability and any fees and charges that may be applicable.