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Often when I come home after work, my son is in his bedroom seemingly alone on his laptop. Then from the laptop voices erupt. My son is deeply engaged and collaboratively working with his friends. Our children intuitively understand and have jumped to the cloud. We in business are hesitant to embrace the cloud and struggle with change. The cloud cannot be ignored. It offers massive benefits to business and in a secure environment.

The cloud is a massive bank of servers, such as Google’s football field size data centres. When we use the cloud we are accessing the programs at these data centres and our data is stored there. This is all done over the internet.

Firstly let me deal with a few concerns that businesses have about the cloud.

Security: The security at data centres of places like Google, Xero and reputable cloud software providers is very strong. Check out. a look inside google datacenters. The reality is that our data is much safer in the cloud than on our own in-house servers.

Internet Speed: As all the software and data is at the data centre, all the computing is happening at the data centre. Hence the internet speeds that you need are much less than you think.

The benefits of the cloud are huge:

Access: Being web based you have access to your data anywhere and at anytime.  This can be on your laptop, tablet or mobile.

Real time valuable information:  Having real time information enables you to quickly respond and take corrective action. Too much can happen into today’s fast-paced life by leaving it to a normal reporting timeframe. Cloud enables information to be entered at the point where you connect with your customers, whether that is your tradesman in the field or information from various outlets. Programs such as Xero can connect with your bank enabling your accounting information to be easily kept up to date.

Integration: The cloud makes available the enterprise software of big business to small business, at a price small business can afford. This is now giving small business valuable information about their business, their customers, staff and their operations. Xero accounting is at the heart of this. It acts as the hub with a large number of quality programs able to integrate with it.

Productivity: One database – we have forever struggled with the problem of having client details on various data bases. Now with the cloud, for the first time we only have one. For us, Xero and Google will cover all our core business needs. Through the cloud one data base is possible for all businesses.

Cloud, with its mobile access, enables information to be entered at the time of the work or sale. This reduces the paper coming back to admin and reduces the admin workload.

Other benefits are efficient ways to communicate more collaboratively with your clients and the list could go on and will do so as time goes on.

Cloud based software is opening up massive opportunities for business.  Give it serious consideration and begin going cloud.

Peter Ambrosiussen is the managing partner of Ambrosiussen Accountants and Advisors.www.ambrosiussen.com.au

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