Understanding Cloud & SaaS

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If you don’t already know what cloud technology is then don’t worry, you’re not on your own.

Cloud computing allows you to access and store data & programs over the internet instead of using your computer’s hard drive.  All you need is an internet connection and cloud computing can be done from anywhere in the world.

What is Software- as-a-Service (SaaS)?

Software-as-a-Service is cloud based software that is accessible over the internet. This works by the user subscribing in order to get access and usually paying a monthly or annual fee.

You may already be using SaaS and not even realising it. Take a look at these examples of where it is being used:

  • Google Drive. This is a cloud computing service because all the apps and storage are online. You can use them from your smartphone or tablet at any time of the day.

  • Another example is Apple iCloud. This software connects you and your Apple devices together and synchronizes your mail, contacts and more. It is also used to store media files so that they can be accessed from any Apple device.

Benefits of SaaS for SME’s

SaaS allows SME’s to access software and technical support at a more affordable level. The software is licensed on a subscription basis as opposed to purchasing individual licenses, therefore there is no up-front cost. You also reduce IT support costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance support.

Most importantly you can access your data anytime through your web browser, on your tablet or smartphone.  

Benefits of SaaS for large businesses

SaaS is great for large business due to multiple factors that allow for greater speed, efficiency and detail in data storage and management. Scalability and integration are key parts in this. SaaS, such as Clarity Enterprise, integrates with your other software and current business scale and setup so there is no need to buy another server.

With SaaS you’ll always have access to new releases and upgrades that will help your business run smoother. The release of new technology means lower costs associated with upgrades as well as access to top of the line software and hardware, without paying through the nose.

Clarity Enterprise and other SaaS are easy to use, because that’s what they’re designed for – to make your business life easier.

How secure is the cloud?

The cloud is as secure as it gets. Trusted providers like Google, Apple, Amazon and even World Governments use the cloud to store data. All data is protected from cyber-attacks as part of the package, so you don’t have to pay for your own data protection at the same time. Data is protected with top level encryption and guarded with CCTV and round the clock security.

How does it work?

Problems with traditional computer software include the dangers of cyber-attacks against your personal machine whilst you’re not there to action on it, data corruption, loss, damage and lack of high level encryption. Software can become easily outdated meaning you have to invest in upgrades which is an added cost to your organisation.

However, SaaS allows for easy, cheap, often free upgrades when new versions are developed, that don’t add cost to your subscription.

SaaS can be accessed from anywhere on multiple platforms such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, unlike traditional software which only works on designated computers. You can also transfer data instantly and simply with cloud technology, whatever you upload will be available for you to access on any platform.

Backups of industrial amounts of data are costly and time consuming, and time is money in business. The cloud speeds up the processes and allows you to get things done much more quickly and easily.

How does cloud technology benefit your business?
  1. Real-time overview
  2. Cloud computing allows you to see a real-time overview of your business activities even when you’re not in the office. This means you can be up to date with your money and data every minute of the day.

  3. Increased collaboration
  4. Cloud computing allows you to collaborate with anyone, anywhere. Allowing employees to work together. All you have to do is sync up and your employees will be able to work on documents and shared apps at the same time. No more waiting for someone to come into the office to drop that document off to you.

  5. Work from anywhere
  6. As long as you have access to the internet you can work anywhere at any time. This provides employees with flexibility allowing them and those around them to do their jobs better.

  7. Document control
  8. Cloud computing keeps your files in one location, accessible anywhere. Meaning your employees in different time zones can access documents whenever they need to. No more sending email files back and forth with multiple file names.

  9. Security
  10. According to the Ponemon Institute, a privacy management company, 12,000 laptops are lost in US airports alone each week as well as 900 which are lost in Heathrow. When working off the cloud your files can still be accessible from anywhere, even if you don’t have your device, therefore your data is still safe from harm if somebody finds your laptop.

  11. Automatic Backups
  12. Cloud computing allows your data to be backed up automatically, meaning you won’t have to worry about your data getting lost in an IT glitch or in other circumstances such as loss, theft or damage.

  13. Gain competitive advantage
  14. The cloud enables SME’s to access enterprise-class technology allowing you to reach new levels of productivity and aim higher than ever before without having to pay an arm and a leg.

  15. Environmentally friendly
  16. Using the cloud to store information cuts down on waste paper, power usage for shredders, copiers and printers, printer ink and stationery. This decrease in excess waste is good news for the environment.

Useful links

IBM information on SaaS: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2014/03/what-is-software-as-a-service-saas/

Try a free trial of Clarity365: http://www.clarity365.co.uk/Home/

 

Written by Chloé Farmer

Hi I’m Chloé and I am the Marketing and Customer Relationship Manager. I specialise in writing about business, marketing and SEO. I like to crossfit in my spare time. Find me on LinkedIn.

 

 

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