Technology changes fast and the way we do things often changes with it. In the past it seemed safer to house all your data and documents locally on your own hardware. With today’s online applications and increased security, there are a lot of reasons to consider moving a lot of your processes and systems to the cloud.
Here are thirteen reasons some of our customers have moved their data, systems and documents to the cloud:
1. Less expensive hardware
When you keep all your systems and data local, it means having technology that keeps up with your growing business. With cloud computing, you can use less expensive hardware because most of the power is in the cloud, not your hardware. Hardware is an expensive upfront cost. You can cut it with cloud computing.
2. Your data, documents and more from anywhere
Not only do you save money on hardware, you can even use more of the devices you and your employees already have. Many cloud-based applications were built for use across computers and devices like phones and tablets, so you can access it from more places and don’t have to be in front of a computer.
3. Lower upfront software costs
Purchasing software is another upfront cost that we had in business. Now you can get into software at a most cost-effective price and can pay as you go. You can test new processes, cloud-based applications and more without a hefty investment or risk.
4. Lower IT Costs
When you use cloud-based solutions, you usually get some type of support as well. This lessons the burden on your own IT resources. They have a lot less local problems to trouble-shoot.
Of course this depends on the service and the company, but you can find reviews of online cloud-based applications on the web to verify. Most companies who offer cloud-based systems, do their best to ensure you are up and running 24/7/365. Their profitability depends on it since you can drop them at any time since you have not made a huge upfront investment.
6. Disaster recovery
When was the last time you checked your back-up? Many of our customers don’t even know. With cloud-based systems, you don’t have to worry about hardware crashing and losing your data or documents. You don’t have to worry how much was backed up and where it is. It is always up-to-date.
7. Automatic updates
Within-house systems, updates have to be done on the weekends or evenings to minimize interruptions in business. That also means having IT work extended hours. With cloud-based software, it’s updated the next time you log in without having to schedule updates and sync them up with machines, etc.
8. Sharing data made easy
Cloud-based technology has made sharing the largest of files simple. While email has limitations to document size, many online systems can house nearly limitless files of any size. You can share them with anyone from anywhere – no thumb drive needed.
9. Collaborating made easy
With shared systems, it is easy to collaborate on projects, presentations and the same documents. Everyone can access and see changes and updates on a document in real time minimizing multiple drafts floating around of the same document. It’s all contained in place and everyone is working from the most current information.
10. Cloud security
The internet is not always a safe place. However, most cloud-based companies bank on creating just that – a safe place. Cloud-based solutions have bug teams employed just to keep their software and your data safe. Be sure to ask them about safety, but for the most part reputable cloud solutions focus on security.
11. Work from anywhere
With cloud based solutions you don’t need a VPN or lifeline to your server, which means your server isn’t getting accessed as much from outside your location. Anywhere there is an internet connection, you can get your data and documents. This also means you can travel or you can hire talent outside of your local area.
12. Scale your business as you go
Most cloud-solutions are scalable by amount of service being used or licenses being used. This means instead of buying all the power at once, you can scale your software expenses up and down as you scale your business. You’re basically only paying for what you’re using.
13. Centralizing data
Even before computers, trying to organize all of our data in one place was a problem. With cloud solutions you can get systems that house all the data, documents and processes in one system that all stakeholders or employees can access. No more sending them to different folders on the server and other documents held locally, they can all live in one place for everyone to access.
With every solution, there is always some cons. Cloud computing may not be right for everyone. Here are some challenges you may need to consider when moving your business to cloud-based solutions.
Challenge #1: You need to have internet access.
This is a very small challenge for most of us, however, if you have problems with internet usage going down often or work from somewhere like Antarctica, then this may be a big consideration. For the most part, even if we are on the go, we can get a wireless hotspot direct to our computer.
Challenge #2: Bandwidth considerations
If you have a lot of employees in one place accessing the cloud solutions, that’s a lot of uploading and downloading at once. Considerations for extending bandwidth may have to be taken into consideration to keep up – but in this day in age, that’s a concern regardless.
If you have questions about what applications you could move to the cloud or want to discuss if cloud solutions are right for you, contact us. We’d love to speak to you about it.