You're a small business, just starting to find your way in the market. You have a solid strategy, a brilliant product, and employees prepared to drive your business towards success.
Then, it turns out your product is too popular - you can't keep up with demand, customers are complaining on social media and you have a backlog of inventory orders and unpaid invoices from clients.
Finding yourself in this situation is no doubt frustrating, and the immediate collapse of what seemed like an unbreakable strategy can put many small business owners in a place of financial despair. Thankfully, services like debtor finance are here to help, offering timely injections of cash that can help you strategically position yourself when facing your business problems.
The future of business is now
Data will be a powerful currency in the future of business for a number of reasons. The two most important, however, will be the use of collected information in data analytics, and the global transition to cloud storage over physical data centres.
First, the question of storage. There are really two main ways to store digital information; you could build a large data centre with a fixed capacity in your building, or use hosted services such as the cloud.
To avoid any confusion, we'll break down the simple differences between these two:
A data centre is really a large hard drive that you would place in a secure room in your company building. This would have a fixed capacity - enough to store all the current and future data of your employees, business and customers - and access or maintenance would need to be carried out on-site by an IT team.
The cloud works in a similar, if slightly more complex, manner. Cloud storage is managed by what is called a hosting company, a business that essentially has access to many physical data centres, and manages this information simultaneously across multiple locations.
So which is right for small business owners?
Deciding which method of storage is right for your business will depend entirely upon your needs and requirements for data use. If you plan on storing large quantities of information, and need to offer unparalleled reliability to your customers, investing in the cloud could actually be the more business-savvy option.
With cloud technology, information is being drawn and collated from across many different servers in hundreds - possibly thousands - of locations.
Think about it this way - Google is a website run using the cloud. This means that information is being drawn and collated from across many different servers in hundreds - possibly thousands - of locations.
And if one of those servers becomes compromised, breaks down or experiences some kind of physical trauma? The other servers work in harmony to pick up any digital slack in communication, allowing the popular website to stay and up and Google to keep their customers happy.
If you plan on only storing a limited amount of data, working in a business that is primarily offline or have access to your own IT department, a fixed and dedicated server in your company may be the best choice.
Critics of cloud technology are adamant to point out that information stored in the cloud isn't necessarily secure - after all, who really owns the data in there, you or the hosting company? And in the unlikely event of a cloud hosting service going offline, how would you manage to get your data safely back?
Humanising the digital age with analytics
Thankfully, the world of data storage is largely moving to the cloud. In 2012, Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) estimated that by 2020, more than one-third of the world's data will either live or pass through some version of the cloud. With the security of traditional data centres well-established, the relatively new cloud technology can appear to have a pretty bad reputation.
This shouldn't be a concern for small businesses, however - as more businesses move online and adopt cloud services, the number of hosting services and simultaneous cloud servers will exponentially increase. As we mentioned above, if one of these goes offline, another one takes its place, rendering the possibility of technological downtime obsolete.
And the security concerns? Just as the operations of cloud servers take place in hundreds of locations, so does the storage of the data. With a multitude of interconnected servers sharing information and communicating, compromising one would offer only the smallest sliver of useful information.
The real question around data centres and the cloud is: Which one would you best benefit from? There are a number of positives to each choice, but the most important aspect of the decision is knowing you have the finance available to follow through on your decision.
If you'd like to learn more about how debtor financing can help boost your small business into a world of future success, reach out to us today.
If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].