The Cloud is not just a business phenomenon. In fact, faster adoption at home of Cloud based services and the benefits experienced are helping to drive the uptake in business.
Before the internet came along, you would purchase software, usually with a licence, and install and run it on your computer. Under the Cloud model, the software is run online by a third-party provider, and you access both the service and your content pretty much through any device with an internet browser.
Another key benefit is there’s just no technology for you to worry about. When you sign up you get to use the software without worrying about installing it, maintaining it, downloading updates or how much storage is needed to manage your content. Also you don’t need to worry about keeping it safe, all of this is taken care of by the service provider.
The greatest benefit of the Cloud, however, is financial. There is no upfront cost. You’ll pay a low, predictable, monthly fee per user for the software that you use and that means that you can scale up or down as your business needs demand. When you take on more staff, you can switch on new licenses immediately, and similarly turn off the tap if you scale down.
The spend on technology which used to be a major capital expense for even small businesses, now becomes an operational expense.
Running software online also brings with it other major benefits to your staff:
Work from anywhere, with the Cloud you will not only have access to your software, you can also log-in and simply pick up where you left off.
Working remotely with colleagues, clients and suppliers is now simpler than it has ever been, you can share access to your Cloud workspaces as long as you have access to the internet. One of the key economies of scale involved in Cloud computing is that a good Cloud provider will have better security and resilience than you can ever hope to afford. They will store your data safely and securely.
Whilst there has been a degree of “buyer beware”, putting your business-critical information in the hands of a third party demands a degree of trust. Most provide highly visible and transparent reporting and auditing logs, with every administrative action, policy change, content view etc, logged and recorded, so the often quoted concern “you don’t know who is accessing my content” does not stack up.
Few businesses today can escape technology completely, and few should want to – it’s a key driver of commercial competitiveness. But the Cloud can make unlocking that competitiveness simple, flexible and with costs that can be managed as you and your business needs grow.