Keith Mukwiri has more than 5 years’ experience in the IT sector, the majority of those years spent working within the financial services and health services space. The Digital Health Investments Developer shares his top 5 cloud computing tips.
- Work anytime, anywhere
We are moving into an era where we don’t have to be office-bound to do our work, and cloud computing is instrumental to this. Consumers of cloud technology are able to access information and services as long as they have sufficient internet connectivity. Under ideal circumstances, you also don’t need a desktop or laptop computer to access the cloud – up-to-date products and services are compatible with tablets and smartphones.
- It’s the right time to join the trend
Cloud computing is not as new to African business environment as you might think, with an increasing number of business proprietors signing up for cloud based products and services. For instance, according to South African research firm World Wide Worx, there was a 10 % jump in SMEs in South Africa using cloud technology between 2014 and 2015 – bringing the count to 39 %.
- It’s not only a backup service
Many people tend to associate cloud computing with data storage and transfer services like iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox, but it offers so much more than that. According to Ventureburn.com, South African companies utilise a range of cloud-based services, varying from email (83 %), online backups (47 %), online accounting (37 %), project management (27 %), to online CRM.
- Cut down on costs
If you have limited capital or resources, cloud computing is a fantastic way to cut costs. Systems like Quickbooks, Sage One, FreshBooks, Office365 and Abukai Expenses allow owners of small businesses to do big things with their admin. The affordability of some of these systems make them particularly attractive – some solutions are offered at monthly fees in the vicinity of $15 to $25, and there even are payroll systems offering integrated solutions at as low as $1 per month, per employee. You, however, need to do your homework before signing up for a cloud-based product or service: Just like optional extras on a new car, add-ons can prove to be costly – not to mention a lack of technical expertise on both ends of the cloud-based relationship, which takes me to my last point.
- Choose carefully
The cloud is one of the safer places in a world where data disappears because of viruses and theft. Make sure that your cloud service provider has a proven customer service track record with experienced and knowledgeable technicians on the back-end who are able to assist you on a 24/7 basis. Also be extra cautious with sensitive or valuable data. One of the ways you can ensure that your data stays extra safe, would be to opt for a hybrid system that allows you to use both your servers and the clouds as a backup.
Author: Keith Mukwiri