Why move to the cloud? Software that runs on the internet, and not on your physical computer – the cloud sounds like something intangible, and you might be hesitant about moving your data to that airy-sounding place. But be assured, there are some definite benefits to moving your business to the cloud. And you’re not alone – in 2015, it was reported that over 90% of US businesses already used some form of cloud software. So why this massive shift to the cloud?
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How Does Cloud Software Work?
A cloud software solution is an alternative to the standard software installation where you have to locally install the software on your PC. Cloud software is still installed somewhere – just not on your PC. It’s hosted on remote servers and you gain access to it via the internet. So as a cloud software user, you don’t pay for the software itself – it works more like a subscription model. That’s where the term Software as a Service (SaaS) comes from – the software providers develop and maintain the software but you gain access to it by subscribing to their service instead of buying a product. And this comes with its advantages.
The Benefits of Working With Cloud Software
Saving money is one most significant cloud software solution benefit. First, you cut down on upfront spending. You pay as you go and based on demand. This pay-as-you-go model give you the benefit of predictable costs both for the subscription and to some extent, the administration. Even if your company grows, you can have a clear idea of what your costs will be. This allows for much more accurate budgeting, especially as compared to the costs of IT personnel to manage upgrades. Second, you reduce capital costs. Upgrading hardware regularly becomes less of an issue, just like software update fees. Third, you save money on overheads and the time saved setting up local installations.
As opposed to an on-premise solution, cloud software solutions are already installed and configured. You have the advantage of being up and running in no time at all. Cloud software reduces the time spent on installation and configuration, and circumvents the issues that can pop up during software deployment.
What’s great about cloud software is that the sofware and its servers are not a concern of yours, but of the provider. You don’t have to spend time on updating your software to a new version, or worry about working with outdated versions that can cause problems in your business processes. The software providers take care of the updates to both the software and the hardware – and this includes security updates – so you can just focus on running your business.
Cloud software is scalable. If your business needs increase, you can easily upgrade with cloud software, while in the case of on-premise software, this would mean buying a whole new product. The same goes for scaling down.
Cloud software is accessible anywhere you have internet. You can do your work at the beach if you have a good signal. Now, to put this into practical perspective, this gives you the ability to handle your management tasks anywhere, anytime. It gives you the ability to coach your clients wherever they are, increasing your service level and improving the efficiency of your business.
It might have happened to you: your computer crashed, and a lot of your data went down with the ship. One of the major disadvantages of on-premise software is that it’s installed on one physical device. This means its as vunerable as the hardware it’s running on. This problem is avoided with cloud software, which typically uses backups and redundancies to prevent data loss. That, combined with high-tech security protocols, ensure the safety of your data. Your computer crashed again? Just log in on another device and you’re good to go.
The Drawback of Cloud Software
There’s one possible drawback to cloud software I’d like to point out: you need a stable internet connection. If your network fails, you temporary lose access to the software. Of course, cloud software can at times deal with downtime – no service is immune to that – but providers are served by minimizing the possibility of this happening. A bigger concern is the WiFi connection in your business – if that’s stable, you’re good to go.
A cloud software solution with a SaaS model has a number of advantages over old-fashioned on-premise solutions. Choosing for a cloud software solutions comes with less risks, like the upfront payment of an on-premise solution. It will save a lot of time and effort of setting up new systems, due the fact that it’s already installed and configured. Updates and maintenance are part of the service. You increase the flexibility of your business, the service level, and you prevent data disasters since your PC crashing no longer means your client data is lost in the wind. In short, if you haven’t made the switch already, now might be the time to check your internet connection and move to the cloud.