Conquering the Cloud

Bookkeeping ServicesThese days it’s no longer a question of if you’ll move into the cloud – it’s a question of when.

Once a much-hyped trend, cloud computing is now an integral part of how we do business because it offers reliability, cost efficiency and flexibility.

No longer the playground of the big corporations, the cloud is part of the valuable toolkit utilised daily most organisations and businesses, with a recent Forrester Research study revealing cloud adoption is now mainstream. What’s more, Australian organisations are leading the way in their cloud uptake compared to organisations across France, Germany, Britain and the United States.

The study found 86% of Australian enterprises have adopted the cloud in their production environment for more than a year, while the rate stands at just 50% in the US and almost 60% in Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Taking your data and putting it up in the cloud is no longer a frightening concept for SMEs and contractors, either. These smaller operators are quickly embracing digital innovation in a bid to transform their businesses and reap the benefits.

The ‘State of the Cloud Computing in Australia Report 2014 demonstrates the sheer size of the market, finding that the country’s cloud computing market in 2013 was generating revenues of $1.23 billion, with strong growth predicted. The report was based on a study of 603 decision-makers on IT services and infrastructure or data centre spending

Improved fixed-line internet, Wi-Fi and cellular connections coupled with clever mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are putting the power back in the hands of those SMEs and contractors searching for a better way to store and access their software and data, anywhere and anytime.

The uptake of cloud options isn’t just being adopted for expediency and costing savings, but also to meet strategic IT and business goals.

There’s a cloud solution for almost every business need – from project management to social media management, file storage and sharing.

Cloud accounting solutions are working to take the headaches out of invoicing and payroll. MYOB and Xero are huge players in the Australian market, offering cloud accounting for less than $50 a month, with both not surprisingly experiencing huge uptake among Australian sole traders and SMEs.

A great cloud platform for businesses with larger files to share is Dropbox, which allows you to store documents and images. There’s no limit to the providers in this space. Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage and Rackspace also offer a variety of cloud solutions to make storage and project collaboration a breeze.

There’s no doubt that cloud computing will take your business to the next level. So where do you start? It’s crucial you carefully plan your move to optimise the end result.

While larger providers deliver greater stability and features, small providers often feature more flexibility when it comes to the provision of tailored solutions, so be sure you do your homework to compare services, performance and security levels, price, and also their reputation in the marketplace.