By Steven Cohen, Head of Sage One International (Africa, Australia, Middle East, Asia and Brazil).
Despite the many benefits of moving to the cloud, South African businesses are still hesitant to make the transition. There is still much uncertainty about the move and how it will affect business.
According to Vodacom Business, 32% of South African businesses are not confident that data is secure when using a cloud service.
There are several reasons why wariness of transitioning to the cloud exists such as:
· Loss of control.
· Handing the performance of your business over to a 3rd party.
· What if the system fails?
· What position will the business be in if it isn’t able to perform?
· The fear of operations being affected.
· Security concerns.
The security card has been overplayed. Vendors, who have been instilling fear into business owners as part of their product pitch, have propagated a large portion of this uncertainty. This is even though the security risk of using existing software is often reasonably small.
Another reason why there is not much uptake of cloud services is because of the concern around governance and data protection which plays a major role for business owners. The introduction of POPI (Protection of Personal Information Act), as well as many other governance protocols, including where the data is hosted, leaves business owners uncertain as to how this may affect customer’s details and sensitive financial information.
It is a great pity that fear mongering and misinformation are overshadowing the benefits of cloud solutions. Cloud-based accounting software is simply a balance of other services we already use, such as Apple iCloud, web based email and Dropbox.
While moving to the cloud may not be a necessary step right now, there are tangible business benefits associated with the move that should be considered.
Here are five extra reasons why adopting the cloud could work for your business.
1. It’s affordable– The costs of investing in hardware, servicing the network and software licenses far outweigh the cost of a cloud service.
2. You can make more money – By reducing costs and increasing efficiency (which cloud offers) it will put your business in a position where both revenue and profit can increase.
3. Saving you time, saving you money – According to research by Float, cloud can save a business about 10 hours a month. The reduction in time used to manage infrastructure rather than using a service can save an IT department almost a day a month. This time can be used to innovate and find competitive advantages for the business using technology.
4. Security – As more cloud providers enter the market the competition between them increases. There are two offerings that will attract clients: cost and security. It is for this reason that the highest level of security is implemented, probably higher than the in-house security your business may currently have.
5. Transition is easy – Some businesses are concerned that moving to the cloud will be a cumbersome and time wasting experience. However, cloud providers and software options available make the transition to cloud simple and easy.
Business technology needs to be built around forces shaping consumer technology – Social, Mobile, Apps and Cloud.
This is what service providers are now offering; technology solutions to help you save money for your business. In a time of seismic technological change and digital invention, we at Sage encourage you to use technology that works for your business. The future is mobile and it is about being able to control your business from the palm of your hand.