The cloud has shaped the way businesses, big and small, operate on a daily basis. The cloud provides a central storage facility that can keep data on the internet. Since data is stored online, it can be accessed from any location, on any device that has the internet. The cloud is broadening the scope of how we do business. It lets businesses operate more efficiently and in different ways than ever before. Incorporating cloud-based software into your SME will bring a ream of advantages to your business model.
When you are running an SME, you might only employee a handful of people. This means that team members often wear many hats. When they take on more responsibility, the diversity of their daily tasks increases at work. Sometimes they might be in the office, while other times they might be out meeting with clients or travelling to negotiate the ordering cost of a product. It’s inevitable that the days with vary. Having a cloud-based business model allows for the accessibility to work information, both in and out of the office. For instance, if a team member is travelling through an airport and needs to get some stock information for a customer, they can still access anything on the cloud as long as they have internet.
Securty and protection
Ever run into the problem of saving your hard work onto a memory stick, only to find it was corrupt and your work lost? This is one of the less major disaster scenarios businesses face. From natural disasters to loss of key staff, make sure you have a way to keep working as usual when faced with a disaster. Cloud-based software doesn’t store data in spreadsheets or hard drives so you know that you’ll always be able to access your information from any internet-enabled device.
Implementing a cloud-based software will no doubt require an upfront investment, but SMEs will realise the quick returns on investment. Traditionally, SMEs would have had to invest in bulky hardware to run their systems; the cost of servers and hiring someone to maintain them can really add up. The cloud does not require hefty hardware installations since it operates off the internet. Since the cloud is self-managed, a SMEs can eliminate in-house IT services. With this cost saving, SMEs can look to put their money towards developing and growing their businesses.
SMEs have the freedom to expand without worrying about outgrowing their software. If an SME’s business is booming, they don’t need to reserve capital for expensive infrastructure investments. With cloud-based software, they can keep moving forward and leverage the scalability of the cloud.
The cloud conducts automatic updates, allowing the system to keep running and maintains the data storage system. When SMEs are busy, these automatic options make running a business more streamlined. SMEs don’t need to be focusing on administrative details like updating their software. This is why the automation of the cloud can provide such integral support.
The cloud can provide data in real-time to an SME in any location. No matter where the team is or when they access the information, it will always be the most recent version. Information can be shared seamlessly and will always be up-to-date.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.