words Al Woods
Even if you haven’t yet signed up for cloud computing, you will most certainly have heard of it. Cloud computing means that you can upload (and download) documents to a safe space online, rather than keeping them all on your own laptop or server. You can also use cloud-based apps to make things even easier; these include accountancy apps and word processing programs. It is a much more secure way to store your important files and information, and you can access your documents from any computer or mobile device wherever you happen to be.
If you’re still unsure about using cloud computing, we’ve put together some of the main benefits to show you just how useful it can be.
If you are looking for a way to be more flexible for your clients and customers, as well as for yourself, cloud-based computing might just be what works for you. Your business will ideally be growing, and in the past, that meant paying out more for more storage or having everything slow down because your server just couldn’t cope with what it was being asked to do. However, what would happen if you bought more storage and then had a slow month and were paying too much for something you weren’t really using, just as the money coming into your business reduced?
Cloud computing means that you can use as little or as much storage and bandwidth as you need, easily up or downscaling when required. This saves you money and keeps your business working efficiently so that your customers remain happy and you are less stressed.
Easy Data Recovery
Although you should have plans in place to prevent data loss wherever possible, sometimes disaster strikes, and, through no one’s fault, data is lost. This can cause huge problems for businesses as it can mean losing entire databases full of customer details and orders. In some cases, it can spell the end of the business because they can no longer contact customers for payment.
With cloud computing, this would no longer be an issue. Everything is stored in the cloud, so data recovery is as simple as a click of a button to download everything to your laptop once more. As long as you are backing everything up to the cloud on a regular basis – or even using it to work from in the first place – should something happen to your laptop or personal server, the information your business needs to continue will still be safe and usable.
Update Your Software
Software updates can be truly annoying. They always seem to need doing at the most inopportune time, forcing businesses to have downtime when they don’t want it, or to continue to use out-of-date software. Neither option is ideal. With the cloud, these essential updates can happen whenever they need to, automatically, without causing your business any loss of time or earnings. Even if you hadn’t considered it before, this benefit is certainly one that can help you out and keep you working when other companies would have to stop.
Computing hardware such as a server can be very expensive, and when you add in all the maintenance required to keep it all working as it should, the price only continues to rise. This is not the case with cloud-based computing. In some cases, depending on what you want to use it for and how much bandwidth you require, it is actually free. If you do pay, it tends to be on a rolling monthly basis meaning that you can stop it at any time if you’re not feeling the advantages or you need to save money. However, bear in mind that the cost is far lower than buying your own server would be, so in many cases, it makes more sense to continue to use it.
When you combine the money you’re saving here with other cost-saving measures within your business, including using refurbished hardware and outsourcing where required, you can streamline operations and boost your bottom line.
Work From Anywhere
One of the biggest benefits that people find when using cloud computing is that it means they can work from anywhere. They don’t even need to use their own computer as long as they know their login details. All they need to do is sign in and find their documents to continue working. Basically, as long as there is an internet connection, you can do your work or write your blog whether that be from your office, your bed, a coffee shop, or a beach, you can still communicate with your customers. Why is this important? Engaging with your customers is one of the most important elements of running a business, and if you can be available for as much time as possible, that will help you.
If you can work from anywhere, so too can your employees, and this means that you can offer flexible working so that they can enjoy a good work-life balance. When you can do this, employees’ productivity often increases, plus you can reduce your running costs because you no longer need an office space to work from. Therefore, your business will grow, and your bottom line will look healthy.
When there are lots of people all working on one contract, that contract and all its files needs to be passed back and forth between them so that everyone can sign where and when they need to. This leaves a lot of room for error, including the wrong files being sent to the wrong people or customers receiving incorrect information. When using cloud computing, everyone can see just one document, and they can all sign and read as required without anything getting lost or confused along the way. This kind of improved collaboration makes for a much more streamlined company, and this efficiency is something that customers really do enjoy.
What would happen if you lost your laptop? Would someone be able to access all your customer files and accounts? Could your customers’ personal details and even bank accounts be in danger? This is very possibly the case, and this, combined with the problems a lost laptop could cause your business in terms of being able to function, is why the cloud is such an important piece of software. If you store all of this sensitive information on the cloud, a lost laptop would be an inconvenience rather than a complete disaster.