With digital transformation a buzzword for businesses both big and small, taking steps to move your business to the cloud can provide benefits that could save your company time and money.
What is the cloud?
The simplest explanation is the cloud is a platform that allows you to store your files and access them remotely from anywhere at any time. When you store something to the cloud you are storing it to a remote server, whether that is your business’s physical server, or to the server of a service provider such as Dropbox, Google drive, or Apple’s iCloud.
Before the existence of the cloud, much of a business’s data would be stored on local computers with little or no ability to connect with each other. Sharing data was time consuming and would often require the physical transfer of information via devices such as thumb drives or DVDs.
Similarly, programs were stored on computer hard drives and keeping them up-to-date relied upon diligence and/or a dedicated IT department. With the advent of the cloud, all this has changed. Traditional software such as MS Office or Adobe Suite is more often than not provided on a SaaS model, whereby updates are constant and part of your subscription. Using software that is up-to-date and on-demand means businesses have the latest firmware and patches, which assists them in keeping data secure.
Software solutions can offer real-time data
Another benefit of the cloud is its ability to provide real-time data for small business, particularly if a business invests in a cloud accounting solution. Paper-based accounting systems, old school excel spreadsheets and traditional accounting software lack the immediacy of a cloud accounting solution. Cloud-based accounting allows users to access data from any device at any time. Business owners can keep up to date with their financials at all times and the software easily integrates with apps and add-ons to provide an entire ecosystem. Cloud accounting is also scalable to suit your business needs. Having access to real-time information on the state of your business health is a significant benefit for any small business owner that wants to manage their cash flow.
Lose a device and you don’t lose your data
Another benefit of moving your data to the cloud is you will never have to worry about losing a device again. Remember that sinking feeling when you lost your laptop or dropped your phone in a drink? Thanks to the cloud you will still have access to all your data. And if someone steals your computer they won’t be able to swipe your secrets as you’ve stored them securely on the cloud.
Work anywhere any time
In this brave new world of digital transformation, moving your business to the cloud provides the option of working remotely from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based solutions give you the option of working from home or on the go. You can be always connected and always online – the choice is yours, thanks to the cloud!
If you’d like more tips on how to manage the ambitions of your small business check out the NAB Small Business hub for tools, tips, calculators and articles to manage cash flow, expand and finance your business goals.