One of the biggest buzzwords for maximising business efficiency today is cloud computing. The term is often referred to as simply “the cloud”. Cloud-based software. Migrating to the cloud. Stored in the cloud. Accessed from the cloud. Everything seems to be happening “in the cloud”. But what is it, and how important it is to your business?
The term is just a metaphor for the Internet. In its simplest terms, it means storing data and programs on huge servers and accessing these files and software through the Internet. It replaces the need for large hard drives on your computer or your company’s server, and then adds an extra layer for back up.
So, who uses this? While some of us may not realise it, but we all do. In fact, it has become such an integral part of our lives today. Without it, there would be no Dropbox, Yahoo or Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Spotify or even Netflix.
It doesn’t stop there. The cloud has revolutionised the business landscape as well. As a matter of fact, businesses are migrating to the cloud for a lot of their business processes from creating and sharing documents, team collaboration and project management, customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation to accounting and bookkeeping.
Why are so many businesses moving to cloud-based systems? Here are some of the benefits:
Remote computing software are designed with advanced capabilities. They automate and streamline processes and reduce user effort. So, this results in increased efficiency and responsiveness.
Unlike your server and computer, it has unlimited capacity. Cloud-based services are easy to scale up or down. Basically, this will depend on the requirements of the business.
Automatic software updates
Suppliers take care of the updates and enhancements. They are made available to all users as soon as they are released. This way, it eliminates the need for businesses to maintain and update their own system.
The solutions do not require investment in local system and infrastructure, software and regular technical maintenance.
This technology improves collaboration by allowing multiple users to meet virtually and share information in real time. One business area where this capability has been very effective is outsource accounting. Read more about this here.
Accessibility of the Cloud
Information can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, and with the use of any mobile device. Therefore, users do not need to connect to the organisation’s server or go to the office to access information.
Before the cloud, documents are shared back and forth as email attachments. This often results in multiple copies with conflicting contents. With the use of cloud collaboration software, documents are stored and accessed from one location, and updates are visible to everyone.
Security and data recovery
Software suppliers are responsible for ensuring data security. Proper auditing, passwords, and encryption are also included for added security. Because the data is stored in the cloud-based location, it avoids the loss of information due to hard drive crash. Due to this, most providers also offer automatic data backup on the remote system to further protect users from the risk of data loss.
It provides access to enterprise-class technology to everyone. This means that smaller businesses can easily compete with their larger competitors.
vendors operate shared infrastructure which reduces power costs and data centre footprint.
With all these benefits, it is not surprising why a lot of companies have shifted part of their business operation to the cloud. In the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report, 95% of the surveyed 1,060 IT professionals are already using cloud technology.
The study also found that the lack of expertise is the main challenge for adopting this kind of computing. If you are facing the same challenge and wondering if this technology is right for your business, then contact us.
Bureauserv has helped clients from Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom to successfully migrate and implement a cloud-based system. Indeed, we can help you explore your options here.