09/07/2015

By Lizzie Benton, Datify


A recent study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that 38% of SME’s are sceptical about the introduction of cloud technology, with the report confirming that 61% see data security as their top concern. Despite cloud systems storming the tech industry it seems that there is significant reluctance to add these systems to businesses who perhaps still feel confused by the jargon that they’re seeing. But this could potentially make many small businesses in the future obsolete, as adapting to change and understanding the trends is essential for stability as well as growth.

We asked the brands and the businesses using cloud systems to see if we could finally make it clear exactly what the cloud can do for business.

Myth 1: It Won’t Work For My Business

We can all put our hands up to being resistant to new technology now and again, especially when we don’t fully understand what it actually does. It’s the fear of the unknown that gets us, but as a business you need to move past this and see beyond the mind boggling language.

Cloud based systems work for all manner of businesses and there are very little restrictions to what it can’t do. You may already be unaware that you’re even using a cloud based system, for example Google Drive or Google Mail are hosted in cloud based servers. The truth is cloud computing works for everyone, no matter whether you’re a single entrepreneur or a large corporation. The flexible costs don’t discriminate between large and small businesses and the benefits of more productivity is a fact that can’t be ignored.

Neil Buck from The Personnel Dept shared his experience with implementing a cloud system, commenting that, “Due to employing with part time staff and working with external Associates, we started using the cloud based Dropbox application to file share documents, which meant anyone could get access wherever they were and had web access. This has made working with these individuals far easier than would have been previously been possible. The costs aren’t high at all and paid monthly so it’s an affordable solution. We also use an online platform for our day to day accounting. Both of these are US originated but they seem to be at the forefront of cloud based solutions which is fine with us.”

Myth 2: It’s a Lengthy Set-Up Process

The hardware that comes along with cloud systems is minimal which may surprise many businesses. Sometimes a network may be needed to optimize the cloud-computing service if you’re looking to host it in-house, and it could involve purchasing a newer desktop machine, but this is the most substantial investment you’ll need to make, as many businesses prefer to store their data on an exterior server.

“Installing cloud software such as popular accounting or CRM solutions can take a matter of minutes on each computer” explains Richard Kennedy Head of Engineering at Cloud Simplified. “This has drastically reduced the amount of ‘down-time’ that a business may have experienced during their working day before cloud technology was introduced. Ensuring that everyone can still work just as effectively without any disruptions.”

Myth 3: Data is Not Safe

Security is the main concern for many businesses who are resistant to adopting the cloud, but these fears could be unfounded as a recent study by Microsoft found that 94% of businesses who had integrated cloud systems into their company saw an improvement.

There are risks involved as many cloud systems require different levels of configuration and management for both software and hardware, but there are numerous tactics in place that keep your data safe, including password encryption and identity management. Every provider has a data-recovery process that is in place should any issues occur, so when searching for a provider ensure to ask the questions you need to know.

Ed Moyse from Journo Requests couldn’t recommend cloud solutions enough, “Just do it. When I started learning to code, most of my repositories were stored locally on my laptop - and when the hard-drive broke, I lost about a hundred hours of my life. Now all of my code is stored with a cloud based server, and to date I’ve had zero security issues.”

Myth 4: No Need for Support

It’s easy to think that once the software or accounts have been created you can just go on doing business as usual, of course you can, but you’re going to need some form of support or guidance from the experts. It’s a common misconception that will only harm you when something really does go wrong. Without the expertise on hand to guide you through any issues you may find yourself stranded when you lose something.

Having IT support is a little like having insurance, you don’t need it all the time but it’s good to have it there for those accidents. Not only will your IT provider be there during the set-up but they should also be at the end of the phone should anything crop up that makes no sense to you.

Many outsourced IT professionals work with these systems on a daily basis, so invest in the experts and you’ll be safe.