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How cloud can help you run a better business

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SME owners today are busy, tech-savvy and under enormous pressure to drive profits and revenues – that’s why they need software ready to take advantage of the latest technology trends. It is these entrepreneurs who are the drivers of prosperity and it is their entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world, writes Steven Cohen, head of Sage One International (Africa, Australia, Middle East, Asia and Brazil).
The cloud changes everything by allowing them to work anywhere and anytime.
Here are a few ways that users of our accounting and payroll software tell us the cloud helps them to run better businesses:
* Fewer IT headaches, better IT performance – With a cloud-based software application, the responsibility for IT maintenance, software upgrades and any system issues lies with the service provider. Our cloud customers tell us that the cloud is liberating because they don’t need to install software or hassle about updates and upgrades. As such, SMEs can stay close to their core business rather than worrying about technology. Plus, they usually find that cloud systems are more reliable and feature-rich than the old DOS-based systems they have used for years.
* Flexibility – Cloud-based software can be accessed on a pay-as-you-go model, so SMEs don’t need to worry about overinvesting in software licenses. They can add more users as the business grows or decrease spending if they need to. For example, if they have a lot of seasonal workers or contractors they bring on board for projects, they can pay for payroll software per payslip rather than buying a license upfront.
* Increased security – Cloud computing can be more secure than traditional IT. Established cloud suppliers invest vast amounts of money into securing their applications and have technology infrastructures beyond the means of any small business. There’s also less risk of losing data stored on a laptop or a USB stick because everything is stored in the cloud and not on devices that could be lost or stolen.
* Mobile productivity and collaboration – The future is mobile and we are giving our customers the power to control their businesses from the palm of their hand. Users can simply log in from wherever they are and start working. Because their data is in the cloud, it is available online, anywhere and anytime. Mobile apps for accounting solutions, for example put customer and accounting information in the palm of user’s hands. They can log on from wherever they are to view customer information, record notes, search for customers as well as contact them.
* Gain business insight – Today, SMEs don’t merely need an electronic recordkeeping system. In today’s competitive, knowledge-based economy, SME owners and managers also want to analyse and understand the business instead of just submitting tax returns, printing customer statements and sending out payslips. Cloud solutions enable them to access this functionality at an affordable cost.