The Benefits of Using Cloud Hosted ServicesIn a bid to reduce costs and improve efficiency, many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are opting to outsource various tasks to cloud providers. Processes like enterprise resource planning, web and email hosting, billing, invoicing and payroll are just a few of the common tasks being outsourced.

On the other hand, complex IT requirements such as software development and data storage are mainly done in-house. As with all things in technology, these types of requirements can be exposed to risks such as hacking, outages and data losses, which can bring a business’s operations to a stand-still.

While cloud hosted services have some minor risks, they have major benefits that make them ideal for many businesses.

Save on Infrastructure: Paying a monthly fee to a cloud provider is more convenient and cheaper than building your own application. To build a robust in-house application, you will spend a lot on infrastructure, maintenance and support. As a startup, you may not have the financial resources to build and maintain an in-house application and hence the viability of using a cloud providers.

Save on Setup and Management: Companies that develop in-house solutions incur great costs on development. You need a team of brilliant programmers to develop, test and deploy the application. This can significantly increase your cost, not to mention the time that will be spent on development.

Save on Utilities: Cloud hosted services are incorporated with features that cover most of the needs of small and medium sized businesses. The services are also more affordable since the providers can pass down cost-saving benefits resulting from mass sales.

Better Performance and Features: Since most cloud service providers serve multiple companies, they invest in robust infrastructure to ensure high performance. Deploying cutting-edge technology and investing in high-end infrastructure may not be economical for SMBs. As a result, cloud hosted solutions may be a better option for SMBs than in-house solutions.

Increased Company Agility: In many instances, cloud services can be purchased based on the needs of a business. For example, different types of users, from customers to external partners, can be easily added to a service. With this level of flexibility, companies can effectively respond to their changing needs without having to incur large initial costs.

Ongoing Support: Cloud hosted service providers have support teams that are ready to deal with technology issues related to their services. For example, regular software upgrades have to be done. These can be expensive and time consuming for an SMB and hence the advantage of using cloud providers.

Cloud hosted services are cost effective and more reliable than most in-house solutions that SMBs can develop. Companies looking to save on costs on payrolls, billing and other tasks can rely on cloud providers for reliable, affordable and most importantly, secure services.

Samantha Wideman is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites.