Are you puzzled by cloud computing? You’re not the only one. ‘The cloud’ is often spoken of without an overall understanding of what it means. This guide will give you all the important facts about cloud computing and highlight the advantages for small businesses.
WHAT IS ‘THE CLOUD’?
The cloud is a space where you can store all your data, files and software – all of which can be accessed from multiple devices, whether it’s your computer or a handheld device. In comparison to traditional ways of doing business, the cloud always comes out on top.
- Traditional banking vs. internet banking
Only a decade ago, the only place you could view your financial data was if you were physically at the bank. Today, with internet banking you don’t have to walk a metre to access your financial data. It’s all accessible anywhere, anytime and on any device.
- Traditional mail vs. web mail
Originally, written communication was predominantly done at the post office. Web mail has made communication available anywhere and anytime, when you’re online, and from any device.
- Traditional filing vs. cloud storage
Files used to only be accessible at the office. Cloud storage allows you to access all your files, conveniently from your home, on the bus or even at a park. Allowing you to take your work elsewhere.
- Traditional shopping vs. online shopping
As 9 to 5 remains the main working hours and business hours, customers are limited to free time to view and potentially buy your products. Online shopping has freed up that time frame. Customers are able to shop anytime, anywhere and again on any device.
- Traditional accounting software vs. cloud accounting software
Traditional desktop software used to limit you to store your data on one device – either on your computer or laptop. Cloud software has opened up possibilities to store your data online, and make it completely accessible to whoever needs access, and anywhere where there is internet connection. Enhanced cloud software also allows limitless amounts of people to use the data, at the same time.
TRUE OR FALSE
The cloud can be difficult to use and at times confusing. Here are the facts you need to know in order to move your small business to the cloud.
- Does cloud computing need the internet?
The internet is needed in order to connect your devices to the cloud. Though your data remains stored within the cloud.
- Is it possible to lose data in the cloud?
Data stored within the cloud is more secure than it lurking on your computer. Computers can be stolen or easily infected by a virus. Cloud organisations spend billions on protective systems for your data.
- Is the cloud an Apple product?
Most are familiar with Apple’s product iCloud which operates using cloud technology, however many other organisations have created their very own cloud product – Google, Dropbox and Xero all provide cloud products.
- What happens when there’s no internet?
Internet has never been more accessible. Almost all businesses, households and public places have access to the internet. Internet has become as important as electricity. If the internet does crash, your data is instantly saved, and safe in the cloud.
- Is Cloud computing a fad?
Cloud computing has been operating for years and only grows stronger, and more popular by the minute. Internet banking has been around for 15 years. It’s never been faster or as cheap to run.
- Is cloud computing expensive?
In comparison to your usage, cloud computing is quite cheap. You save on endless software upgrades, system maintenance, support fees, hardware and backup systems.
- Is it easy to lose control of data?
It’s never been easier to organise your data. It’s easily accessible, shareable and connected to your information – anywhere and anytime, on any device. You also have the capability of controlling who has access, and when.
- Is cloud designed only for tech people?
Incorrect! The cloud has never been more user friendly. It simply requires a quick log in and wallah! The cloud is installation free and with no upgrades needed.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO CLOUD COMPUTING
To emphasise again, cloud computing allows you to access your data anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The cloud has eliminated the separation between your home computer and office computer – information is available anytime.
When you’re on the move, whether it’s going to a meeting or interstate, you’re able to access your business bank account. You’re able to buy office supplies whilst you’re traveling to work on the train. It’s never been easier to be organised.
The cloud has opened up sharing possibilities. Your applications and files no longer need to sit on one computer. You’ll be able to stress less about backups, theft, data loss, support and upgrades. It’s all been left to dedicated technical teams.
The cloud has taken the pressure out of understanding computing. Opening up various device usage, such as computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices. You no longer need to run into the office for data, it’s all there and secure. Log in, and do business anywhere and anytime.