What are the advantages of cloud software?

Eva Pettifor

16

July 2016

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Cloud software is software that is installed on the internet (the cloud) rather than your own computer. Users access the one central version of this software and it is updated and maintained by the software company so you always run the latest version.

Rather than paying a fee for the software like with desktop installed applications, cloud software providers usually charge a monthly or yearly subscription, many applications are even free!

Most people already use cloud software on a daily basis in the form of internet banking, online gaming, phone apps and social media. We love cloud software even more for the day to day running of our business which includes:

  • Website CMS platform: The website system that we use to develop our client's websites (and our own business website)
  • Xero: Our bookkeeping system (which includes customer database, quotes, invoices, purchases, bank recs, BAS preparation and so much more)
  • Dropbox: for sharing large files
  • Knack: Our business database
  • Mailchimp: Our email marketing platform
  • Dashlane: Password management
  • ... and many more including project management and support ticketing

Advantages of cloud software include:

Automatic software updates

There is no stress or hassles with updating versions of software on your own computer and you save on IT costs, you always run the latest version from cloud based software which will include any bug fixes or feature upgrades automatically.

Use from any computer

You are not restricted to one computer, because the software runs on the cloud (internet), then you can access it from anywhere that has an internet connection by logging into a control panel and accessing. Great for travel or using a variety of different computers and devices. If you need a new computer or a computer crashes, it doesn't matter so much because all of the important programs and data are stored on the cloud, where they are securely backed up.

Document sharing

Very handy so your team can access one central version of your important files. For example, my accountant can login to access my book-keeping to do my tax return. For larger companies it is so handy for staff to access company files, quotes and other data. This is wonderful document control as it is clear where the latest document resides rather than having multiple versions floating about the office.

Security

As mentioned in my first point, the automatic backups provide security and peace of mind. These types of software (if from a reputable company) are backed up in various data centres around the world and have systems in place for disaster recovery. This takes the risk out of our hands and we don't have to worry about loss of precious files which would otherwise be stored locally. We can also save on backup software, hardware and any associated time in running these procedures in-house.

Just about any type of software is now available on the cloud to suit any type of business application. If you're not in the cloud yet... you are missing out !

Eva Pettifor

Founder and project manager at Darwin Web

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