What is the cloud and how will it help my business?
Basically, cloud computing is nothing more than storing and accessing data—and programs—over the internet rather than on a computer's hard drive. Think about the social media platforms and email service that you use—they're not stored on your computer, you access them over the internet. A cloud-based solution is hosted on the provider's server and maintained and updated by them as well.
Why should you consider a cloud-based business system? In short, because software should be easy to set up, access, use and maintain. With a cloud-based system you get:
- Increased productivity through the ability to access your software (and business) from any computer or tablet with internet access, anywhere, anytime
- Cutting-edge software that is always current and requires no manual updates
- Real-time data which facilitates better business planning and quicker decisions
- Data that is automatically backed up at no additional charge
- Increased security since your data is hosted offsite, protecting it from natural disasters, fire and theft
- A system that grows as your business grows—you just add more licenses
- An end-to-end business solution at one monthly price
What you don't get:
- The requirement of a huge, upfront monetary investment—no servers or special equipment are needed
- The obligation to invest in lots of IT personnel and data security measures
- Manual software updates that cost extra and interrupt workflow
- The necessity of data backup services or server maintenance
The beauty of cloud-based business systems is that they are simple to use and don't require a large upfront investment. This allows you to use your time and money more efficiently to grow your business rather than maintaining software and servicing equipment.
Cloud-based systems have brought a new level of opportunity to small and medium-sized businesses. It's the new frontier in business management and its potential is just beginning to be tapped. Cloud computing is just one step in future-proofing your business and the benefits will only increase.
Want to know more about the cloud? Watch this comprehensive 60-minute webinar hosted by Grant Howe, ECi's Chief Technology Officer.
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