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More and more people every day believe that cloud computing is the future. It is certainly the belief in the field of bookkeeping and accounting, as all the major players such as Intuit (QuickBooks) and Sage are moving their products to the cloud as fast as they can. A big factor in the reason for this belief? Mobile computing and its rise in importance for people’s business, and for that matter, personal lives.
Based on the latest figures from the United Nations, 40% of the world’s population are using the Internet. And that social media giant Facebook has 1.35 billion active monthly users, which is quite startling when you consider the site has only been around for ten years.
As I mentioned in a previous post on the occasion of my trip to the QuickBooks Connect Conference I believe that cloud computing is definitely the future, as does Intuit.
Here are some of the main benefits in moving to the cloud for your consideration.
The cloud equals a virtual, anywhere office
Both you and your employees can be more flexible in their work practices.
With the ability to be completely mobile and work anywhere, data can be accessed from home, on holiday, or via the commute to and from work. All that’s really required is the Internet connection.
For example, a customer is based in New York City, you’re based in Toronto, and your team that services that client is in Berlin.Working on similar projects across different locations gives employees, contractors, and third parties access to the same files and critical software applications on a mobile device anywhere in the world. The barriers and restrictions of geography are completely removed. Our world is becoming smaller and smaller every day.
Reduced IT costs
Having a cloud based computing system will reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
There is no need to purchase expensive systems and equipment. This is handled by the cloud computing service provider. The cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software can be included in your contract.
“Renting” your computer infrastructure – pay as you go – can be especially attractive to small and start-up businesses with limited cash flow. And if you already have infrastructure and you’re concerned about its age, you no longer need to buy new hardware to replace it.
Protecting your data and systems is an important part of business continuity planning. If a natural disaster, power failure, or other crisis occurs, having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location.
Accessing your data again quickly allows you to conduct business as usual, minimizing any downtime and loss of productivity.
Further savings could be realized as you no longer need to pay wages for expert IT staff.
Focus on your core business
Managing data centers are not the core focus of most businesses.
Using the cloud essentially frees up your time so you can get on with running your business.
For those organizations with an IT department, cloud computing frees up IT to focus on developing applications that have business value and not on managing the data center.
Plus you can scale up or down your operation and storage needs quickly to suit your situation as your needs change.
I think companies of any size can benefit from the technology offered by a cloud based computing system. But technology alone isn’t the answer.
You’ll need to consider carefully how your business processes can change to better support your customers. And that may mean revisiting your entire business strategy.
As many of you know we, here at AIS Solutions, believed in the “cloud” before many others as we moved our own client’s bookkeeping services there almost four years ago. And we, and our clients, are certainly glad we did.
What has been your experience with cloud based computing systems, if any? We always appreciate and look forward to your comments and feedback.