Getting ahead in the cloud: a quick guide to cloud computing
Cloud computing is a major buzzword that’s hard to escape. But it’s also a useful tool for small to medium-sized enterprises. We’ve used it to help our clients reduce costs, become more efficient and improve their financial footing.
What is cloud computing?
There are many different definitions of cloud computing. We think this one, sourced from the Google Developers website, is one of the clearest: cloud computing is about “taking applications and running them on infrastructure other than your own”.
Rather than owning and operating their own hardware, or running apps on site, companies move their computing infrastructure, software and apps into the cloud – and have them delivered over the internet.
A move to the cloud can bring substantial benefits. For example, cloud computing can be cheaper to operate than traditional IT arrangements. This is because you only pay for what you actually use.
In this blog post, cloud-based accounting software provider Xero discusses how, by using the cloud, “you’re not paying for endless upgrades, system maintenance, support fees or additional hardware like backup systems”.
Also, by working in the cloud, staff don’t need to dedicate as much time to managing and maintaining IT systems.
According to research commissioned by Microsoft, each year small businesses in Australia, Brazil, Chile, India and the United States lose more than US$24 billion combined in workplace productivity due to non-technical employees having to resolve IT problems. On average, these workers lost six hours per week of productive time. The study found that small businesses believed cloud-based solutions could alleviate these issues.
The cloud and business turnaround
At Macleay Partners, we’ve extensively used cloud solutions to drive business turnarounds.
For example, in 2013, we were called in to help a company address some critical challenges – including declining sales and internal instability.
We harnessed the power of the cloud – through the Xero platform – to implement a comprehensive turnaround approach. We automated processes such as payroll and accounts payable through Xero. This meant the company didn’t have to manually enter data, or maintain specialist software to complete these functions.
Also, by using the cloud, we allowed all stakeholders (including management, external accountants and creditors) to view up-to-date information at any time over the internet. They didn’t need to request reports from accounts; and they could continually assess the company’s progress during the turnaround.
Our initiatives helped place the company on a more stable footing, and look to expansion rather than survival.
We’d be delighted to discuss how cloud computing could help you better manage your operations. We have access to cutting-edge technology and proven solutions, and can create a customised package that meets your needs. Please contact Macleay Partners Director Justin Ward for more information at email@example.com.