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The What, Why, and How of the Cloud: Small to Mid-sized Business Edition

What you need to know about the one technology launching businesses into success.

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Why move to the cloud?

The cloud offers the latest in technological advancements – at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to match its capabilities. And while most people have heard of the cloud, many do not know what it can offer to them as individuals, as employees, or to the business they work for.

What is the cloud, exactly?

Simply stated, the “cloud” is a metaphor for the internet. And, like the internet:

  • The cloud is a place where people go to store information.
  • The cloud is accessible from any internet-connected device, as in:
  • When you hear “cloud,” think of the internet. No matter where you are, if the device that you’re using can connect to the internet – you can connect to the cloud.

What You Hear vs. What They’re Really Saying

When someone says: “My QuickBooks Desktop is in the cloud.” What they’re really saying is: “I can open the full-featured desktop version of QuickBooks from any laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet.”

Why would I want to access my software in the cloud?

When you move your software to the cloud, it immediately gains features that make it easier, safer, and faster to use.

If your PC crashes, is stolen, or simply won’t turn on: you can pick up where you last left off on your next PC.

The data housed in the cloud is stored in multiple secure locations around the country – meaning it’ll be ready-to-work when you are.

You won’t have to learn the online or smartphone versions of the software.

It doesn’t matter if you access the cloud from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or workstation – the software will look and work the same as the desktop version you’re used to.

You no longer have to think about hackers getting at you or your client’s data – it’s safest in the cloud.

Putting software in the cloud means getting an enterprise-level security team, whose responsibilities include making sure the cloud stays accessible to those who need it – and inaccessible to those who don’t – 24/7/365.

You can collaborate with teammates and clients directly in the software, at the same time.

Rather than send email attachments, physically receive files, or (we’ve heard) get a stack of receipts from a client – you can grant cloud access and limit permissions to those responsible for providing information.

You will no longer spend valuable time watching your software and applications update.

Software that is hosted in the cloud automatically updates to the latest available version.

And lastly, the cloud is (very) fast.

Every type of computer has a limited amount of space on it. After a lot of software installations and file saving, it will start slowing down. If a business has the resources, it may solve this problem by storing data in-house on a server, external hard drive, or USB. Without proper security measures however, USBs, external hard drives, and in-house servers are all high-risk solutions.

And in terms of ease of accessibility, why would you want to keep track of multiple storage devices?

By moving your software off your computer and into the cloud, you automatically gain space to save, store, and run. Your computer’s performance will be faster, you’ll be able to store everything you need in one place, and ultimately – get your job done quicker.


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