Cloud software is ubiquitous nowadays, largely thanks to the clever folk in Silicon Valley continuously pushing the envelope for what’s possible to achieve using modern tech.
In this guide, we reveal some of the core benefits of cloud-based systems and which industries can stand to benefit the most from implementing them.
7 benefits of cloud software
Cloud software is fast becoming the way to do business. The reason for this? Everything becomes easier, more accurate and more accessible – which, at the end of the day, is the direction a company should be going.
Cloud software allows for fast and effective communication. With everything online, there is no need to copy and paste data to hardware, such as memory sticks, to access on a different computer — data is automatically shared between programs and accessible from any internet-capable device.
2. Data security and recoverability
Natural disaster, theft, loss of staff, corrupted data — the list goes on. In the event of a data emergency, cloud software mitigates most of the risk as you can access your business data from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
3. Accuracy and transparency
With everything to do with manufacturing and sales being stored online, data can be accessed by anyone you authorise and from any device that has internet capability. This allows transparency of processes and information in the company, which is a great precursor to accuracy. There is no latent period of time if information is shared automatically which allows for greater accuracy.
4. Cost saving
There is a direct cost saving of cloud-based programs that provide automation because gone is the need for someone to be entering data, manipulating it and sharing it manually. It also allows the company to trial it and see what works for them without having to pay exorbitant amounts in purchasing packages directly.
5. Improved inventory control and business decision-making
If information around manufacturing and sales is current and automatic, then it is much easier for the company to deduce accurately at any given moment, what is in various stages of production and what is being sold. Having this information accurate and accessible allows the managers to forecast more accurately based on customer demand which then allows for more accurate ordering.
6. Accessibility and ease of use in the cloud
Having the ability to access manufacturing and sales data from anywhere on any capable device allows for the freedom of managerial staff to go about their personal or business lives and still be able to maintain a handle on things.
7. An improved customer experience
Finally, cloud-based software can improve the customer experience. Having control of inventory and sales means that stock is always available for the customer, when they need it. If your company can provide this service, uninterrupted because adverse situations are foreseen and avoided, then your company really will be set apart.
Cloud-based apps and desktop apps: What’s the difference?
A cloud-based software is a program where cloud-based and local components work together; users will access a remote server on a web browser with continual internet access. Cloud-based software is different from traditional desktop apps. Here are some of the differences:
- Desktop apps need to be manually downloaded for each device and there are different versions depending on which operating system the device is running on
- Cloud apps don’t need to be downloaded. The app is rendered in a web browser and exploits browser capabilities (e.g. flash content rendering, CSS)
- Desktop apps need to be manually updated periodically and it’s hard to enforce users to all be on the same version at the same time
- Cloud apps are updated automatically by the app service provider
- Desktop apps are platform-dependent. This means they require a separate version for each operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux etc.)
- Cloud apps are developed to be used in a browser, meaning they can run on various platforms regardless of the operating system (e.g. Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer etc.)
- In desktop apps, the data is stored in your own computer, which poses the challenge of data recovery should things go wrong
- Cloud-based apps store their data in a server, with a set amount of space allocated to you
10 industries that can benefit from cloud software
There are legitimate reasons behind the fact that many industries have been slow to adopt cloud software. For instance, day traders and health care practitioners may not have the freedom to move client records over to public cloud storage.
Now, cloud software offers solutions that work to make the cloud a realistic and game-changing opportunity for all industries, working with the unique needs and desires of every company.
Here are ten industries that can directly benefit from the right cloud computing solutions.
With cloud inventory management software, automotive companies can store inventory and additional data in one easily-accessible location. As an industry that relies heavily on the constant availability of data, customers will be more satisfied if you can search for a specific car or car part quickly.
Education is generally restricted by tight funding situations, a problem that the cloud can directly alleviate. Schools that have access to cloud solutions allow students to access the information they need all in one place, such as important notifications and assignments – just a few of the endless benefits that education can experience by implementing the cloud, saving time and money.
A major concern in this industry when it comes to the cloud is security, but cloud solutions allow you to have encrypted information and tightly controlled credentials for confidential data. Tighter security in place enables financial businesses to explore the ease of completing everyday tasks like customer billing or interaction.
This industry has been understandably slow to transition to new technology due to strenuous regulations, that impose risks of inadequate security of sensitive information. Cloud solutions for healthcare will ensure that the transition is reliable and timely, and also compliant with specific healthcare regulations.
Cloud solutions can allow your business to connect with your clients in the most convenient way. When dealing with insurance sales, turn the cloud into your best resource because you can experience real-time collaboration. Communicate within channels and set up customer portals that will help you and your customers keep track of their accounts and statuses.
Cloud solutions provide an agile computing environment, providing services that can be quickly changed to adapt to the needs of hospitality providers. Not only does this ease some of the stress that comes along with new technology, but it also immediately benefits your customers. With the ability to simplify processes by having smartphone compatibility to improve the guests and customer experience, as well as the efficiency of your establishment.
Manufacturing companies are constantly challenged with the need to manage diverse locations and supply chains that require large, intricate database applications. Cloud solutions can allow these companies to connect anywhere and provide the necessary infrastructure to power each location. Albeit numerous large-scale deployments that can occur in the production industry, the cost-efficiency, cloud solutions can help eliminate enormous capital expenses as well as lowering the operating costs that accompany maintaining various locations.
Cloud software can make it easy for this industry to keep an eye on personal listings while being constantly aware of new ones. As an agent, brokerage or company, you can experience how easy it is to access information in the field when you need it. In addition, cloud solutions can help you maintain contact with your clients, and streamline your marketing initiatives.
This industry relies heavily on the ability to store large quantities of files for long periods of time, that also needs to remain accessible and secure. Cloud solutions provide advanced backup, recovery and computing to be accessible. Also, cloud solutions are scalable so you can keep storing more and more without worry.
This industry needs to rely on running a company on a limited budget. As a result, a lot of non-profits find it too difficult to spend money on the latest technology. However, cloud solutions can help you stay well within budget while keeping up with the most advanced computing solutions.
Cloud-based inventory control
Cloud-based inventory software can help business to work smarter by shifting individual areas of inventory control into a single, easy-to-use software product. It will streamline planning by automating the entire inventory control process, reducing waste and the cost of stock-outs.
Cloud-based inventory control tracks inventory across all channels, from your brick-and-mortar stores to your online eCommerce sites. Orders from individual channels will be reflected in overall inventory levels.
Cloud software provides centralised coordination of essential data from all areas of the business. With an integrated, at-a-glance system, all employees whether from production or sales, can have the same information updated in real-time.
This article was updated in March 2023 to reflect new information, industry trends, and pricing.