Not sure what’s Cloud Computing? In layman terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. All you need to do is to use your laptop and mobile devices to access the internet.
In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building. Now, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications through the internet.
You are already relying on cloud computing in everyday world. When you update your Facebook status, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again. You are already relying on cloud computing to solve the challenges faced by small businesses such as sending emails or using apps to help you manage your workload.
Why are businesses moving to the cloud computing? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits. Here are 5 reasons why you need to move your data into the cloud:
Reason 1: Work from Anywhere
Want to know instantly of all these key figures:
- Daily sales figures?
- Financial health of your company?
- Latest debtors list?
Yes you can! With cloud computing, you can be anywhere and yet access to key information with regards to your company’s financial health. You can sit by the beach, listening to the sound of the wave… and running your business at the same time.
Reason 2: One Picture for Everybody
There is a need to keep everybody in the know of the latest happenings in your small business. The more employees and partners collaborate on different aspects of the business, the greater the need for better information control. Before the cloud, workers and management painted different scenarios and often have misconceptions on the health of the company.
When you make the move to cloud computing, all files and information are stored centrally and everyone sees the same information. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and increased efficiency. Now you can share all the right information between all staffs, including your outsourced staffs.
Reason 3: Better Leads Conversion
Imagine this scenario: You are going to clinch a sales deal. You whip out a tablet and go through your presentation slides with the customers. Your customer is pleased with the offerings and would like to make a purchase immediately. You open another application within the tablet and start to key the necessary information from the clients into the application and then send the invoice to them via email once the invoice is completed.
Does that sounds like a fantasy? No, it doesn’t need to be. In fact, many companies such as Prudential are leveraging on cloud solutions to clinch sales deals on the spot. You can be the next!
Reason 4: Expanding Business
Ever thought of bringing your business to another new location? If you are using a standalone accounting or point of sale system, the information will not be synced with other locations and you will need to manually extract all the information and tally them at the end of every month. Gosh, that’s a lot of work!
With a cloud accounting or point of sale system, you are now able to remotely monitor and extract information without being physically at the location. The consolidation would have been computed for you backend so all you need to do is to understand the data presented to you! For example, you are able to know the sales figures in real time from different locations and make informed decision on how to better grow your business.
Reason 5: No Hardware Maintenance
Do you need to own your own desktop servers and actually maintain them on your own? I’m sure you know how troublesome it is to own another set of hardware just to run your system. You will need to find space in your office and the time to maintain them on top of your running your business. When the desktop server spoils, you will need to make hours of phone calls to the support line and wait for them to resolve all your issues. You could have used the time to do much more productive work for your business.
With cloud technology, you don’t even need to own any desktop servers to run. All you need to do is to pay your service provider monthly or yearly fees and everything else will be provided. Extra office space = more comfortable environment to work in.
Reason 6: Software Updates
Software updates are now made live whenever. In the past, the service staffs that sell your standalone software will need to physically come down and update the server or the application, and they charge you a fee for the service.
The beauty of cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise and out of sight. The appointed vendor will take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates so you need not worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. Leaving you free to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.
Conclusion: The cloud is still evolving and the latest innovations in cloud computing are making business applications even more mobile and collaborative. Cloud computing is the smart to go if you want to grow your business. Knowing your business information within a click of a finger allows you to make informed decision and also brings about cost savings? That’s already a winner in my mind.
What do you think? Is cloud computing needed for all businesses?
Leave your questions and comments in the box below. Contact us if you need consultation on how to move to the latest cloud technologies.