Cloud The Cloud- What is it? Can I use it? Will it benefit my business? I'm not good at computers, will it be too hard to use? These are all questions that we get asked regularly, and the confusion behind the Cloud is often the reason why small businesses shy away from using it and the benefits its use can bring. But there is no need to, through effective implementation and management, the Cloud can be used to help you business grow and succeed. get asked. a subject that some businesses shy away from, and other embrace with much success. To answer some of these questions, the Cloud refers to a centralised location on the internet that stores data, making it accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device. Benefits associated with the Cloud include; Reduced Cost- Using the Cloud over physical file storage can save a significant amount of money. Ease of Use- Saving and accessing files on the Cloud is easy, making it an attractive option, even for non-technical small business owners. Flexibility- The Cloud, is adaptable and can change and grow as your business does. Automation- Instead of having to invest in IT support to keep your file storage system updated and maintained, most applications that use Cloud automatically update themselves. Here are some of the ways, Accounts Easy can help you embrace the Cloud with success Data Storage Data storage is one of the most used aspects of the Cloud. Using the Cloud over physical file storage can save a significant amount of money as it doesn't require you to have specialised hardware. Cloud storage also makes saving and accessing files easy and allows for access to data whenever and however you work. Back Up Consider what could happen to your business if you suffered from a system failure and your computer crashed. Do you have a back up of your computer. Is this back up current with all your documents and information? If you only store your electronic data locally, chances are a system failure could severely inhibit your ability to work as per usual costing you both time and money. Cloud services can help reduce this risk and simplify the back up process by allowing your data to automatically update as you work. It can also creates copies of your data off-site where it is protected from local issues including natural disasters, theft, malfunction and malware. Mobile Working One of the great benefits of the Cloud is the ability for business owners to create fully functional mobile offices. You can access and sync your data from wherever you are, essentially allowing you to take your office with you on the road. This is also beneficial if you use multiple computers. There is now no need to copy or email files to yourself. Syncing data through the cloud means you no longer need to copy or email files to yourself and also reduces version control issues. Access to Business Software Cloud-based versions of boxed software now exist for bookkeeping, word processing, design, contact management and other key business functions. By upgrading to cloud-based software, you can reduce software costs as there are reduced licensing fees, you can access the software from any connected device and best of all, you can ensure your software is always the latest with automatic updates. Information Sharing & Collaboration Whether you have in-house staff or a team spread across the country, the Cloud makes sharing data effortless. Sharing files can be as easy as sending a link or logging in, eliminating the timely and costly processes of emailing large files or physically handing over copied files on USB. Information can also be quickly shared outside of your business, with your accountant or bookkeeper for example, allowing for real-time answers and advice.