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What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has been a buzz word in the business sector over the last few years, with many businesses moving over to “the cloud”. But what is this cloud that everyone is referring to? In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and program over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The “cloud” is just a metaphor for the internet.

Basically it means no longer storing everything on your personal hard drive on your computer. That storage, is called local storage.

Why Should My Business Use Cloud Computing?

Increased security: The first thing people think of when hearing cloud based software, is that their data is at risk of been stolen. You’ll actually find that all cloud based software has stringent security requirements – most are on par with the security levels of bank institutions. The data is also stored in world class secure locations. There is more chance of someone breaking into your own personal building, and downloading everything onto a USB then getting access online.

Low initial costs: No fancy hardware needed, no massive server costs. Most applications operate on a SaaS model where you pay monthly for what you need. Small initial investment with small ongoing costs.

Speed: As your data size grows, any local storage needs to be upgraded to handle the volume. With cloud based software, the providers manage it for you. Your data storage can grow to any size – you probably won’t even be aware of how much you are using.

Reliability: The cloud storage servers, are also backed up to multiple locations, with fall backs, and disaster recovery models in place. The cost to have that internally managed by a business would be extremely costly.

Integrations: Different cloud applications can all be connected together to send data to and from in real time. This means data from your POS, such as Vend, or Kounta can be pushed to your accounting platform like Xero, removing the double entry hassle.

What Are The Disadvantages Associated With Cloud Computing?

Internet connection required: To access your cloud storage you require internet connection. This can be made difficult as internet outages are almost always out of your control. This has been mitigated recently by most cloud services, as they download a local cached copy that can be worked on short term, and your data can be pushed back up to the cloud once you are back connected.

Technical Issue: If there is an issue with the cloud provider’s servers, it’s also out of your hands to try and rectify.
Somewhat limited flexibility: Cloud software and storage, is generally catered to the majority. Small custom tweaks are generally not available.

The low costs of moving to cloud systems means that small businesses can now take advantage of the productivity gains previously only achieved by large corporations with bigger budgets. So if you’re still sat on the fence when it comes to switching to the cloud, now is the time to take the step forward. Start with a complimentary consultation with the cloud integrators at Carbon Business Systems to see how your business will benefit. Call us to get started, on (08) 9446 8588.

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