It's got the potential to cut costs and increase efficiency by allowing staff to work on move. Cloud computing is growing and it's going to get bigger still.

With the ability to scale and give you the clout of your bigger rivals, the technology is especially relevant to smaller firms: it makes applications such as CRM and sales management available to any company, regardless of its size. It's also the ideal way to protect and back up your data in case it is lost or stolen.

Microsoft's latest operating system (OS), Windows 8, is the perfect platform to introduce cloud to your business. So how can smaller firms get the most out of the OS' cloud capabilities?

Flexible devices

Small businesses are increasingly working on the move. With the help of Windows 8, alongside touchscreen devices made by manufacturers such as Dell, this is made even more efficient. Users can write a presentation on a laptop, share it using Microsoft OneDrive, and then work on it on the go via the cloud on a smartphone or tablet.

Microsoft Office 365

With 24/7 access to familiar Microsoft tools, Microsoft Office 365 is ideal for small firms. It is easy to deploy, manage, and safeguard with an easy-to-use, web-based admin console - plus it comes with malware and spam protection. You can use Office 365 when away from your computer, with documents saved to the cloud by default: sharing them is as easy as sending a link.

Security

By backing up information to the cloud, you will always have another copy, protecting you from data theft or loss. Windows 8 also comes with enterprise-grade encryption to keep your company safe.

The cloud capabilities of Windows 8 can benefit many small firms. So what are you waiting for? If you are still on Windows XP, there has never been a better time to upgrade using Dell Migration Services.