Five reasons to move to the cloud

The transition can be easier than staying.

Traditionally have bought and installed hardware and packaged software to gain the benefits of information technology. Now there is a better way.
By using services based in “the cloud” (or internet) you can rent storage, backup, anti-virus, anti-spam and other IT services for much less money and far more easily than running it yourself. And yes, it can be done just as safely, if not more so.Cloud computing is the easiest way that businesses can use the latest technology at the lowest price.

The reality is that businesses are overpaying for what are now commodities – email, calendaring, word processing, even CRM. Cloud computing is the easiest way that businesses can use the latest technology at the lowest price.

There are five simple reasons why cloud computing is a smart business decision.

  • Pay for use: Instead of buying servers to run applications like email, a business just rents the application itself on a per-user, per-month basis. When the service is no longer needed, the SME simply switches it off. If an employee is hired, another user is added. It is a very simple way of consuming IT services.
  • Operating, not capital expense: Paying lots of money upfront for hardware that has to be stored, maintained and upgraded strains cash flow and ties up capital. It’s a similar story with software licences, where companies often sink money into more than they need and get stuck in expensive upgrades.
  • Reduced staff: Using an internet-based service means a business doesn’t need to employ IT staff to maintain in-house computer systems. Instead of paying expensive salaries to computer technicians and hardware, a business can invest the money elsewhere.
  • Single version: Upgrading on-premise software can “break” other programs or hardware which can result in costly downtime. SMEs might have to hire IT technicians or buy hardware to manage the transition. If a business chooses to avoid updating to the latest software it can run into incompatibilities with customers and suppliers, open itself to security risks and miss out on the latest features your rivals might be enjoying. Cloud computing only supplies one version to all customers regardless of when they sign up. Updates happen invisibly with a far lower risk of downtime. And everyone has access to the latest features.
  • Enterprise technology at SME prices: Often a single cloud service is offered to customers of all sizes. That means that SMEs have access to enterprise-grade technologies at an affordable price. Correspondingly, enterprises can have access to the latest IT at prices much cheaper than they would normally pay.

About Sholto Macpherson

Sholto Macpherson is a business technology journalist, consultant and analyst specialising in cloud accounting software.

Sholto is the author of the Macpherson Report, which examines the key technology trends facing accountants in Australia.

He lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

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