Why the Cloud Is an Absolute Necessity

There isn’t a business in existence anywhere that could successfully operate without electricity.

 

The idea is ludicrous. Everything runs on electric power, obviously.

Right now, especially with COVID-19 shutdowns in place, the cloud is becoming the new electricity. Small businesses absolutely need it, especially with employees generally working at home. Business owners might not realize what they are missing until they compare life outside the cloud to life in it.

Running a business outside the cloud leads to…

Data errors
With employees working in different versions of files without synchronizing, version control becomes a major issue. And with version-control problems comes the risk of critical errors slipping into client, financial and other key data. The consequences could be devastating.

Lack of security
Information sent over email is notoriously insecure and vulnerable to theft. Moreover, a successful phishing attack could bring the business to its knees—or shut it down altogether. Studies show that 60 percent of small businesses that suffer cyber-attacks are out of business within six months.

Slow response time
Sending emails back and forth is effectively the slowest possible way to get work done. In a time of uncertainty, customers expect rapid and accurate responses and reports. With employees wasting time with email attachments, businesses won’t be able to meet that need.

Loss of critical information
If QuickBooks Desktop and other bedrock business applications are sitting on a single computer or even a single company-owned server, the company’s entire set of financial records could disappear in a fire or flood, or even with a misplaced or stolen laptop. Backup is a necessity, not a luxury.

Missed application and system updates
Running outdated software can be risky, with new functions unavailable and occasionally even previously existing functions disabled. Plus, employees running on different version of software they updated, or failed to update, themselves can lead to confusing work slowdowns and data errors. Business owners, who have better things to do, face a major task in keeping software and systems up to date.

Lack of consistent workflows
When working strictly over email, one missed cc: could lead to a key stakeholder being left out of a critical discussion or update. The results could be disastrous: inconsistent messages to clients, data errors due to problems with version control, even potential legal issues. Having set workflows is critical.

No technical support
Companies running accounting and business applications via email or with on-premises servers are on the hook for supporting themselves if they run into problems. That can lead to significant downtime as well as to bad fixes that leave applications vulnerable or functioning improperly. In that scenario, data is at risk.

Slow performance of on-premises servers
Even a company that runs a server in its office faces potential disaster: literally, in the case of the server being destroyed in a flood or fire, but also because lots of employees working from separate locations can easily crash a single server and make it unavailable. Again, the business would be on the hook for maintenance or, worse, could lose critical data forever.

Whereas businesses that run in the cloud have…

High Data Integrity
Employees work simultaneously in the same version of the same file running in the same application. Version control ceases to be an issue. Running apps in the cloud with a dedicated service provider minimizes the potential for errors and keeps critical data clean.

Enterprise-class security
Cloud providers can shut down phishing attacks before they do any damage. Plus, working in the cloud eliminates the risk of sending critical files over poorly secured email channels. Business owners can operate with peace of mind.

Rapid work capability
With employees collaborating in real time, work gets done faster, more efficiently and more accurately. Customers get what they need when they need it.

Protection of critical information
With a provider automatically backing up all of a company’s critical information in the cloud, the risk of losing important files or figures is virtually zero. No matter what happens to an individual machine, the cloud provider can quickly restore information and keep the company up and running. Plus, business owners never have to worry about storage.

Automatic updates
The most recent, and most secure and fully functional, version of an application will always be running when a cloud provider updates it automatically. Business owners can forget about this particular hassle altogether.

Dedicated workflows
When everybody can access the same apps and files at the same time, nobody gets left out. Internal and external communication and reports remain coordinated. The potential for inconsistency or legal hassles essentially disappears.

24/7 technical support
With a cloud provider, business owners can contact experts at any time of day, any day of the week who have the technical expertise to get accounting and business applications up and running again. There’s no need to self-diagnose anything or come up with a halfway fix. Support professionals from the cloud provider take care of everything and get the fix right the first time—and quickly.

Excellent performance
A cloud provider can offer small businesses the same speed and reliability that the world’s largest corporations enjoy. There’s no need to worry about the performance or security of an on-premises server. Everything is faster and more reliable in the cloud.

Download our infographic here.

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