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Demystifying cloud computing for small business

Many people remain unsure about what cloud computing is and how it can help them.

As an event host for the Victorian Small Business Festival, we jumped at the chance to provide a free workshop on ‘Demystifying the Cloud’ for small business owners. As National Sales Manager for Direct, Online, and Verticals, I ended up in the hot seat giving a talk to around thirty small business owners in our Melbourne office.

Small Business Guide to Cloud Computing

You may have previously seen our small business guide for cloud computing. Put simply, the cloud is where you put all your data, all your files, and even your software so you can access it all from any computer or device, anywhere, anytime.

In the session we delved deeper into some of the benefits of cloud computing including flexibility – being able to try before you buy, scale easily, and use the device that suits you. Also being able to avoid installing software and having other software integrate readily through the cloud.

I received many questions from the attendees regarding security, and specifically “How secure is the cloud?”. What many people don’t realize is that the security of cloud computing provides is generally akin to enterprise grade levels that banks have to adhere to. And rather than being reliant on one piece of hardware, working in the cloud means that you can access your data no matter what happens to a particular machine.

I rounded out the session by debunking common myths like:

Isn’t cloud computing expensive?

It’s much cheaper because you only pay for what you use. You’re not paying for endless upgrades, system maintenance, support fees or additional hardware like backup systems

and:

Isn’t the cloud only for tech people?

The cloud is much easier for everyone – you just login and it works. Imagine: you don’t have to install files, worry about versions, or deal with patches and upgrades. Just login.

Xero is running free webinars on ‘Demystifying the cloud’. Register here.

 

Read more about Business, cloud, security, Small Business

 

4 comments

Robbie Dellow
15 August 2013 #

Yes, too many people out there still focus on the security aspect, without questioning how secure their current desktop ‘solution’ is. Part of the contract between cloud provider and customer is that the provider is responsibility for security. And backups – which from my experience is a lacking area in not just SMB’s.
So when you have security, backups, updates, less hardware requirements, helpdesk support incl tech, provided with the access it sure makes it compelling to use SAAS.
Hard for people to comprehend it’s not just access to a better software product they are getting their bucks for, until they try.

Graeme
15 August 2013 #

Hmmmm….
Quote…”It’s much cheaper because you only pay for what you use. You’re not paying for endless upgrades, system maintenance, support fees or additional hardware like backup systems”.
Not quite, you keep paying, even when you sleep.
Not quite, you are paying for upgrades, continuously.
Come on guys, less spin, you are paying, except it is subscription based. That’s fine, if that’s its what you choose., but you are paying :-)

Irvin Jaffe
16 August 2013 #

I agree with the previous comment. Those individuals who don’t use the cloud because of security issues really have not thought this through. Security on a desktop? You have to be kidding!

HOWEVER, my experience is that cloud based software is still not as good as that installed on your own computer. I don’t know if it is a cloud software maturity issue, or issues related to processing speed. I use both Xero and Peachtree and, at this point, Peachtree is far, far superior.

But, there is no doubt, the world is moving to the cloud.

Enviro Equipment, Inc.
17 August 2013 #

We’ve recently started employing a couple of virtual employees and have found cloud computing tasks invaluable as we are able to collaborate with these workers just as effectively as if they were in our own office in areas of marketing, blogging, accounting, and even video editing.

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