Hot topic: cloud computing
Everyone is talking about cloud computing – AGBeat first wrote on the topic five years ago. It’s been a long-standing hot topic and it’s not hard to see why. Cloud technologies offer many key benefits to businesses both small and large.
A simple definition of cloud computing without getting too technical is software that’s hosted on the internet. It’s the ability to access data and applications from anywhere you have an internet connection. Conversely, software not on the cloud is software that’s downloaded on a computer. Let’s explore cloud computing in a bit more depth and why it may be a good idea for you to move to the cloud.
One key benefit is reduced cost. With a system hosted on the internet (think of a web-based real estate CRM), upgrades, product enhancements, and support are included. There’s also less capital investment required because of the fact that the pricing structure for a web-based system involves a monthly subscription fee and little or no upfront cost. And oftentimes, you’ll actually save a lot of money in the long-term as well – when you purchase a product and have to pay every year for support and upgrades, it can be extremely costly.
Risk, commitment, mobility, and security
Cloud based technology also involves less risk and commitment. Let’s say you purchase a PC-based software solution and you then realize you made the wrong decision. At this point, there’s nothing you can do other than eat your losses and move on. Cloud computing utilizes a “pay as you go” model meaning that as soon as you want to stop using the technology, or feel it’s not right for you, you can usually cancel without a penalty.
Moreover, cloud technologies are more secure due to advanced security technologies that cloud-based systems employ and the frequent real-time data backups that occur. Your data is much more at risk on your PC than when it’s not hosted online, in the cloud.
Mobility is another key reason why you should consider a move to the cloud. When your data is hosted on the internet, you can access it from wherever you are, provided you have an internet connection. Think about the convenience this affords. Imagine working on your CRM from your iPad or tablet. Cloud technology also allows for greater team collaboration as multiple team members can access and work on the system at the same time, regardless of where they happen to be located.
Lastly, when you’re required to download software to your computer(s), this takes up space on your hard drive. With cloud technologies, you don’t have to worry about running out of space. Furthermore, you’re able to store more data on the web than you can on a private computer system.
A business decision
Smart business decisions mean making the right choices when it comes to technology. Key considerations like cost effectiveness, accessibility, and security should drive decision-making. It’s very possible you’ll realize that moving to the cloud and transitioning to a cloud-based business model is the right decision for you and your business.