What is stopping you moving to the cloud?
Small and medium sized enterprises are embracing cloud technology in ever increasing numbers, however there are a number of perceived barriers that are still holding many back. So these barriers real or just myth?
The big one – Security… “There is greater security risk in having my data in the cloud, rather than on a local server in my office; is this true?” In its most simple terms (and I mean simple) ‘the cloud’ is just a server located somewhere other than on your local premises, most commonly in a data centre. In many cases you will be sharing the physical server with other businesses. Data centres have vast security infrastructure to protect their customers data, and the confidence and trust their clients have in their security key to their business success.
So data held ‘in the cloud’ is stored on a server connected to the internet…in a similar way that the server in your office is connected to the internet. The investment in security in data centres will far out way the spend on security by SME’s. Thus, many would say that data is far more secure in data centres than in your office as backups, redundancy and disaster recovery procedures are likely to be more robust on large scale sites. We would always recommend that if possible a local synchronised copy of data should be held at your offices
Connectivity – “If I lose internet no-one at my office will be able to work” This may be true, however putting this into context, if you lose internet connectivity with on-site data and email storage then your business will not be able to communicate with your customers via email anyway. With cloud technology there are many other options available to work around a local broadband outage i.e. using alternative connectivity such as 3G or 4G mobile broadband or sending staff home or to an alternative location that has internet connectivity.
Accounting software – “We use accounting software that is server based” The most widely used SME accounting software in the UK is Sage 50 but there are a number of cloud based accounting packages available for businesses now. Even Sage themselves are finally trying to catch up with their cloud base offering. One accounting package that is very user-friendly and taking an ever increasing market share in the UK is Xero.
Today Xero released their latest survey of accounting professionals and small business owners, you can read the key themes from the results here Xero Global Survey.
There are many more perceived barriers to moving towards cloud computing and in some cases it is not practical or technically advantageous or even possible to do so. However, the important thing is that as a business owner you speak to an IT services provider that can understand your business and give you straight-forward, sound and trusted advice so that you can be confident that you are making the right decision. After all, cloud technologies do offer many small and medium sized businesses huge cost savings and improved profitability through increased process efficiencies, productivity and competitiveness.
Give us a call and let us help you make the right decision.