The ‘cloud’ is a commonly used term these days, but it’s also a term that’s often misunderstood or shrouded in mystery for some business owners.
Running a business can be complex, requiring a whole range of sometimes sophisticated processes in order to be efficient, effective and even compliant. This can result in a mix of IT packages that are more often than not costly to buy and expensive to run and maintain. And this is precisely why the ‘cloud’ is so very interesting for businesses and in particular for online bookkeeping. If you’re in the dark about the cloud, hopefully this article will help shed some light on the notion.
Here’s why we think the Cloud is such a great opportunity for your business:
- You can use your existing hardware. You can operate on the cloud from the hardware you have already, without the need to invest in additional equipment. In fact your staff can even use their own devices if they, and you are happy for them to do so. With the cloud, you pay for (normally) the number of people using the software on an annual basis. This all happens without needing to keep an eye on annual maintenance contracts or upgrades.
- Your business becomes truly mobile. With more and more of us working ‘on the move’, the importance of having access to your data and information anywhere, anytime is becoming increasingly important. With the cloud, you have access to your business information 24/7, 365 days a year; all you need is an Internet connection.
- It gives you one central resource. If you’re accustomed to hopping between numerous applications to run your business efficiently, you won’t need us to convince you that having all those applications in one central location makes great sense. The cloud allows you to run your email, database, file sharing and video calling from one place.
- It’s secure. Security is the major reason people give for not using the cloud. While there isn’t enough space in this article to convince non-believers, suffice to say that the Pentagon uses the cloud!
- It’s managed by someone else. If you retain responsibility for your servers in-house and something goes wrong, you need someone in-house to resolve the issues for you. When you work on the cloud with the right provider, you can be sure of not far short of 100% uptime as well as the peace of mind that if there’s a problem someone at a distance will be working their socks off to sort it out for you.
- It’s scalable and affordable. When you work on the cloud, you buy the services you need when you need them and pay a fixed monthly or annual fee. As your business needs grow and change, you can increase your capacity without breaking the bank.
- It’s adaptable. When you buy IT, you get what you pay for and no more. Once you reach maximum capacity you’re likely to face problems; as a result, you’ll probably be cautious and pay for more than you need. If capacity wasn’t an issue then you wouldn’t have to pay for something you don’t need. The cloud allows you to adapt your capacity to your needs pretty much instantaneously, so saving you paying for something you don’t use.
As you can see, at Virtual Business Source, we’re big fans of the cloud. All of that said, you shouldn’t forget that transferring to the cloud needs to be planned and managed. If you’d like to explore the possibilities of the cloud with people who speak ‘cloud’ fluently, but in your language, why not get in touch?