Still feeling hazy about cloud computing? We reveal the truth behind some common misconceptions.
I’ve heard the cloud isn’t protected. I’d rather keep my data under lock and key.
Every small business owner is worried about security. Anyone is a potential target, but it doesn’t always make sense to rely solely on your own firewall and physical security to help keep your data protected.
The risks posed by robbery or natural disasters can be reduced
Cloud service providers invest huge sums of money in multiple security measures – including advanced encryption for data transfer – and their reputation depends on it. Plus, with providers usually storing data in more than one location, the risks posed by robbery or natural disasters can be reduced.
Monthly subscriptions mean I’ll be paying out every single month – that means the cloud may be an expensive option.
It’s true that hiring software means monthly costs. But many small business owners find this easier to budget for than large, upfront payments. It’s also very cost effective if you have variable workloads – you can pay for extra subscriptions to Outlook365, for example, if you need to take on more office staff for a few months.
Updates are instant too, which means you will have the most current software to help your business.
Once you sign up you’re at the mercy of the cloud operator.
Well, to a certain extent that’s true. And that’s why it’s really important to choose an established company with a good reputation before trusting them with your data.
Read the terms of your contract to find out where you stand if they enforce any changes you’re not happy about and remember, in most cases you’ll have the option of voting with your feet if things aren’t working out.
It’s another new thing to learn (and who’s got time for that?)
Change can be a hassle, but a tiny bit of inconvenience may save you huge amounts of time in the long term. Cloud software is designed with the user in mind, so you should find new systems easier to navigate than you expect.
If you’re moving to online accounting the thought of migrating your data could be holding you back. In fact, it should be a seamless experience and in the case of QuickBooks, the whole process can be done for you. Check out the services provided by your new supplier and make the most of videos, webinars and training so you can start using new features right away.
Investigate the level of customer support before signing up
If things go wrong, you’re on your own.
If you’re used to calling in an IT expert to install new software and keep everything updated, the thought of going it alone may seem a bit daunting. The truth is, you’re not alone. You’ll have access to experts who know the software inside out and have specialist knowledge of the product.
It always pays to investigate the level of customer support offered by your provider before signing up. After all, when you have the freedom to work from anywhere at any time you’ll want to know that reliable help is available too.