Cloud Computing - the sky's the limit!
Although the concept of holding computer data remotely has been around for many years, it’s come on in leaps and bounds under the name cloud computing. If you’ve not already done so, this is definitely something you should be thinking seriously about to help move your business forward. In fact, you may already be using cloud computing without even knowing about it.
In essence, cloud computing is a way of renting capacity in a provider’s data centre and connecting it over the internet. The provider’s staff carries out maintenance and upgrades of hardware and software, and customers typically pay monthly subscription fee. Its plus points are that your information is stored securely online rather than on a server or single computer, you have access both to the latest software and to the information anywhere from any platform, as long as it’s connected to the internet. This is extremely advantageous, especially if you are away from the office a lot and need to keep a handle on your business from afar. It does away with the need for memory sticks and CDs which, as we all know too well, can easily get lost or corrupted. What I think scares people is the feeling that their information is ‘out there’ but this was also the initial reaction to online banking and buying over the Internet. Now, there are very few people who are uncomfortable with this. Old attitudes towards doing business are shifting and this is yet another area where it’s vital to keep up.
You may have already heard of some of the cloud computing brands – such as Dropbox and Evernote. Needless to say, it’s ideal for accounting purposes. We use a package called Xero and around 100 clients are already reaping the benefits.
To give a personal example of why cloud computing is the way to go, when I went on holiday recently I scanned all my travel documents and uploaded them to my cloud computing site so that I could have access to them online if they got lost, stolen or something went wrong. I definitely felt more secure knowing they were safe way up there in the clouds. Let us know your views.