It’s a Cloudy World

Why you should get your business in the cloud.

So you keep hearing about it and everyone uses it like you know what they are talking about but what is Cloud Computing.

The technicalities are boring, Google them if you want. I am just going to tell you what it means for your business.

Firstly it means that mobility is king. If you are thinking that we have already been inundated by mobile technology platforms like tablets and smart phones then hold onto your hat. It has only just begun to rain. This technology is going to come thick and fast and you had better keep up. I don’t mean to sound threatening but seriously you need to keep up.
If you are holding onto the concept of equipment based software, that is the one running on your computer that is sitting on or under your desk, then hand in your buggy whip those days are gone. Your head has to be in the cloud.

Has to be sounds a bit strong. Well here is some tough love for you: give it up. What about security? Oh Dear. You think the PC under your desk is secure? Really? You have never had a virus, an equipment failure, been hacked, forgot to do a back up, had a break in? In the cloud you’ve got 24/7 backups, best encryption available, complete redundancy and your provider is probably entrenched in some bunker somewhere surrounded by armed guards. You see it is not actually in a cloud. So you can’t be thinking about security if you are still running your software yourself.

Picture this: you’re in an airport somewhere and you’ve just been to see a client and now you need to raise an invoice. You have two choices: you can wait until you get back to the office or you can do what the guy next to you has just done and do it from his iPad. His client has probably already paid him if the invoicing system he is using has email capacity and is payment enabled.

Or you are on the road and need to see an invoice or a document to show a client or your accountant or your lending institution. Back to the office again – really? If the transaction management system you have allows you to connect and store documents to your transactions you get to look at your files from anywhere in the world.

Mobility is king. Get with it or stop what you are doing and do something else because you are too slow to be running a business.

Secondly, Facebook is not worth US$100b because it allows you to talk to your friends. Social networking for businesses is as important today as having a sign out the front of your video store, if you still own one you had better catch up there as well. Your system has to be connected to the networking sites like Facebook, or Foursquare or LinkedIn. And again it’s no good communicating with your clients if you can’t do it if you are away from your desk.

And while I’m at it let me add one of my other pet grips with business people who might be slow to catch up: are you punching in transactions to your admin system or are you capturing digital transactions automatically? All transactions are digital these days except those hard to understand and totally meaningless adjusting journals that your accountant does. Are you still trying to use double entry accounting in your business instead of tending to it? All that is over thank goodness and you had better get over it too real quick.

Get yourself a cloud based business administration system and do it today.

The best I have seen kicking around that does all of the above is iEasy. There are others but they tend to be good at one thing and not the other or they can be as complex to use as your equipment based ledger system.

So here’s the tip: free yourself. There is a Home Edition too that helps you keep on top of your own expenses and manage your household finances and transactions. Both are easy to use and both stay away from those nasty things accountants do.

By Terence McNamara

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