Small and medium-sized businesses are always looking for ways to expand operations in a cost-effective manner. That is why more organizations are increasingly looking to the cloud as they realize that it is the optimal place to grow a business of any size.

Speeding things up and increasing reliability
One great feature of the cloud is that it enables businesses to expedite operations without having to worry about compromising the quality of the service they provide. According to SmartCompany​ contributor Nina Hendy, joining the cloud speeds up business because of the ease with which e-commerce can be carried out. Things like electronic invoicing, which could be a source of grief for a company operating off a physical drive, can happen with the click of a button in the cloud.

"Your staff and customers will thank you for it and it will save you and your business time and money," said Mind Your Own Business CEO Tim Reed, according to Hendy. The expediency of e-commerce in the cloud can be especially beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises because it affords them the transactional ease that bigger companies take for granted. This opens up new possibilities for SMEs to grow and face their competition with confidence and competence.

And then there are the monetary benefits of joining the cloud. A report by MYOB found that companies in the cloud had a 59 percent higher chance of increasing revenue than their earthbound counterparts. This makes the cloud an extremely smart investment, since the upfront cost involved is low because no physical hardware is required. Indeed, the cloud works its magic without all the clunky machinery that has encumbered drive-based organizations.

Public or private?
For SMBs approaching a move to the cloud, the decision eventually boils down to which cloud best meets their needs – public or private? However, precedent indicates that this decision is an easy one, since so many businesses have found success in the enterprise cloud. One reason for that is the private cloud provides companies with a degree of individual control that does not exist in the public cloud. Because each enterprise cloud is tailored to the needs of the organization it's serving, companies can be guaranteed that their cloud will be equipped with a suitable infrastructure to match their operation. In addition, the private cloud provides the security measures that make it particularly appealing for the financial and healthcare industries, according to ItProPortal.

But the enterprise cloud can work for nearly any business, as Air France's recent migration illustrates. The airline giant decided to move to the private cloud in order to automate parts of the IT infrastructure that previously had to be overseen manually, Business Cloud News reported. This move will end up saving the airline 85 percent of its old IT budget. In addition to the cost savings, Air France's private cloud is opening up new possibilities for the company to develop new monitoring tools that will lead to an improvement in overall business efficiency.

As Patrick Bourel, the company's head of open systems, told Business Cloud News, ""This scalable platform will allow Air France to put in place monitoring and audit tools in order to achieve better quality of service."