Cloud Software for Small to Medium Sized Business
The adoption of digital technologies is widespread at the consumer level, for example you have probably used your smartphone to order food, manage your bank account and shop online. It is worth noting many of these activities require a good deal of compliance and security from the providers. Adapting to this use of technology has happened relatively quickly and the world is still in living in a digital revolution.
Companies are however slower to adopt and change their systems. For maintenance it could be the same spreadsheet or same whiteboard that has been in place for many years that is still how things are done today.
What is Cloud Software?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is any software application that is provided through a subscription plan and typically delivered using a web browser and/or a mobile device. The provider of the software hosts the application and users access the software by logging in through a web browser or their mobile device. This brings many benefits to the user.
Benefits of Cloud Software:
- No installation backup or updates required by the end user
- Automated updates of new features
- No IT hardware costs such as servers or data backups. Although many companies may already have an on-site server, there can be associated costs with having increased number of active licenses increased demand on the server and ultimately there will need to be server upgrades or replacement over time.
- Cloud software often allow users a trial period to experience and test the software before committing to a subscription.
- Cloud software can typically be deployed within minutes and it can be quickly scaled up to the organisation both in user numbers and also functionality.
- No upfront costs with purchasing software out-right
- Secure access, particularly with two-step authentication.
- Enables workforce mobility to work from home, manage multiple sites and essentially at any location with internet access.
- Integration with other software like finance application can make cloud computing extremely efficient across multiple functions. There does not need to be one system for everything!
Downsides of Cloud Software
- As business needs change or better alternatives appeal to the business for change, migration of data from one system to another can be complex and impractical.
- In the long term it may prove to be more expensive to pay a subscription, but it is unlikely considering the benefits, to be a significant factor assuming some software expenditure is required.
Cloud Software for Small to Medium Sized Companies (SMEs)
Cloud software is particularly relevant to SMEs who don not have any internal IT staff and have simple on-site infrastructure. Avoiding the headaches of an on-premise system, SMEs can quickly adopt to business needs by utilising the right software and quickly deploying it. Making the right choice can be difficult with so many vendors offering solutions, but this is not unique to cloud software. The best way to make your decision to adopt cloud software is to sign up for a trial, demonstrate its benefits internally, share it with your team to get all the inputs and buy-in needed to make a new software deployment successful.