This is a guest post provided by Danielle, writer at IT consultants, Silverbug.
Last year, Forbes reported that 74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers found cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their businesses. Simply put, cloud-based software is a system built onto the internet and it can make life a lot easier for businesses, whether they’re big or small. But, they also come with their own drawbacks. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of cloud-based work solutions.
Pros of cloud-based software
Work from anywhere as long as you have internet access
In the past, people would use programs on their computers or building servers to do their work, but cloud-based software allows the same programs to be accessed through the internet. You no longer need to be on-premises or use the same laptop, computer or device to be able to complete your work, as everything can be saved onto the cloud server.
This makes cloud-based software such as Zoho’s Workplace highly convenient for employees who work at home or travel a lot and still need to be kept in the loop.
Productivity can be boosted and time saved in two main ways: through better working collaboration and through automated software updating.
Improved productivity: Seamless collaboration
Cloud software like Office 365 allows multiple users to simultaneously collaborate on the same piece of work. This means employees can interact with each other on a project, and instead of creating multiple versions, the document will just be updated and you can see who has made which changes. Users can see changes in real-time, which saves time as you don’t have to wait for other people to finish editing before you can start.
Improved productivity: Automated, regular updates
Unlike traditional programs, cloud-based software pushes out automatic updates. Your IT staff no longer need to spend days working on system upgrades and reboots, and you no longer have to be affected by slow, outdated versions of software.
Minimises security risks and loss of data
It’s easier to protect sensitive information and prevent data loss with cloud-based software. For example, Office 365 has advanced security features to protect your data. From encrypted emails to mobile device management and threat intelligence, you can be confident that your data is well protected.
Cons of cloud-based software
You need internet access
The majority of cloud-based software features require internet access and this can be a drawback if your business suffers from connection issues and regular downtime, as you won’t be able to access your work.
However, some versions will allow you to access documents online – such as Google’s G Suite apps, provided that you sync it beforehand. The same goes for Office 365 – certain plans allow you to download the desktop versions of the software and you can continue to work. This feature is also useful if you’re working with a third-party company that hasn’t adopted cloud-based systems or a specific application.
If they need to view or amend documents, they can use Office Online which comes with basic functions they can use without actually subscribing to a plan.
Data will always be vulnerable to some extent (unless you stay up to date)
Nothing connected to the internet is ever 100% secure and even the best of security measures can be breached. However, most systems have advanced security features. There are also various best practices you can undertake – for example, proactively protecting sensitive data and conducting regular audits to discover rogue projects and suspicious users. Another thing you need to do is keep your software permanently up to date – which cloud based software does for you.
Cloud-based software can be very useful and for larger businesses and projects, they can also be cost-effective, but this might not be the case for small scale and short term projects.
Know your facts before you invest by experimenting with a variety of programs or talking to an expert.
Silverbug offers IT Consulting Services for companies across the UK, providing IT support solutions such as IT security, IT consultancy and more.