Small businesses have been embracing the cloud for a reason – it’s too advantageous to ignore.

The term “the cloud” refers to a centralized site on the internet that stores data. The location storing the information is made accessible from anyplace, at anytime. There are many ways that small businesses can utilize the cloud.

In fact, a report compiled by Intuit and Emergent Research found that by 2020, the majority of small businesses, 78 percent, will be “fully adapted” to the cloud. The current adoption rate for cloud computing is 37 percent. Experts are projecting that the majority of small businesses in the U.S. will implement cloud computing through the next decade, so there has to be something to it.

For tips on the various ways that small businesses can take advantage of the cloud, read these five bits of advice below:

1. It will make your financial plan pretty
Small businesses can use every penny saved, and the cloud is a great way to be cost-efficient. With cloud computing you won’t have to purchase the servers, processors and programs that you would have to buy otherwise, The Suit Magazine explained. For smaller companies, the storage equipment you have to purchase could be too costly too handle. For small businesses, switching over to the cloud is just financially sensible.

2. Sharing files is caring
File sharing through the cloud allows multiple users to access the same file. Large files are often difficult to share via email, and can end up delaying projects, explained Rick Blaisdell, a cloud computing expert and technical and business strategist. By utilizing the cloud, small businesses remove this problem completely. This is also helpful when communicating with clients. If you need to share a file with a patron, you can simply provide him or her with access via the cloud.

3. Give your business some flex
When files are accessible anyplace, at anytime, businesses are able to operate more flexibly, according to The Suit Magazine. If you have a project that needs to be done away from the office, it is made much easier through cloud computing. Storing files in the cloud also allows for telecommuting. When employees can work from home, productivity and morale could improve. With the cloud, you can even access files from mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets.

4. The cost of communicating
Blaisdell wrote that cloud computing can also save small businesses plenty of money that would have normally been spent on communication costs. For example, phone calls can now be directed through the cloud, which means that phone bills can be reduced by up to 85 percent. If you don’t like the idea of a phone call, you can set up a video conference with clients or business partners instead. You can have face-to-face meetings without leaving your home. In addition, if you host your email on the cloud through a service such as Google Drive, then you will save plenty on storage costs as well.

5. Always have a back up
With the cloud, small business owners can always ensure that their files are backed up, Blaisdell explained. Investing your own system for backing up your data can be a costly transaction. By storing your files in the cloud, you can make sure that all your documents are backed up without breaking the bank. In the unfortunate event of massive data loss, all the information you need will be safe on the cloud.

For small businesses, the cloud is key for cost efficiency. For more ways to save while running your small business, try consulting with a business banking expert.