Every business uses software to increase productivity and decrease costs. Yet installed software is often too expensive for small businesses, particularly when you need to buy extra licenses for more users. We have been working with small businesses for decades and understand this challenge. However, there are innovative tools, technologies and services available today – namely the cloud — that can address this challenge and keep costs down.
Small businesses can benefit tremendously by using cloud-based software. It offers all the functions of installed software, but at a fraction of the cost, and you can easily add users without having to configure a separate machine. Other, lesser-known benefits include:
A fixed monthly cost: Cloud software providers charge a flat rate based on how many users you have on the system. It’s a predictable cost, every month.
Automatic updates: With traditional, installed software, you’re responsible for downloading fixes and patches. Cloud software providers automatically update their software on the back end, which means that when you log in, you’ll have the latest version available with no effort on your part.
Anywhere access: Today’s rapidly-moving world means that you and your staff may need to access reports, information, and the software from home or the road. Cloud-based software lets them do just that from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
Enterprise-grade security: Cloud service providers are acutely aware of their customers’ security needs, and as a result, the cloud is more secure than ever. Encryption, firewalls, and dual-factor authentication are just some of the terms you’ll hear being bandied about, which means your data will not fall into the wrong hands.
Better uptime: If you’re using installed software on just one computer, and that computer goes down, you’re effectively shut down until someone can fix it. With the cloud, if your computer goes down, you can fire up another computer or even a tablet and get back to work.
These are just a few of the many benefits the cloud offers for small businesses, effectively providing the same class of software for a much lower cost. Are you a small business? Are you using cloud-based software? If so, what are you using? If not, what’s stopping you?
Steve Leavitt, GM of U.S. Cloud Solutions for Exact