Between the near constant coverage and analysis of technology, artificial intelligence, social media, and big data analytics it can seem overwhelming if you are trying to figure out just what you need to know about technology. This becomes even more difficult if you are an entrepreneur trying to get a business off the ground, or simply trying to reduce some costs related to your technology infrastructure, especially if the topic of cloud computing arises.
Even though the term itself is evocative of puffy white clouds and other such imagery, the reality is that cloud computing is a serious issue that every entrepreneur must be aware of.
Working in the cloud, accessing data remotely, and leveraging technology to make better business decisions represent topics and information that are rapidly changing how business is done. Millennials, whether working as an individual attempting to build a personal brand, building out a network, or as a budding entrepreneur building and scaling a business idea, must be able to take advantage of advances in technology to do so in a cost-effective manner.
That said, it is relatively simple to see how it is possible to get overwhelmed, even for tech savvy individuals, by the sheer volume of technology options in the marketplace.
Articles published, virtually every day, focus on and discuss how to leverage social media, market yourself effectively, and build a brand on a budget, but what about working the cloud? As a CPA I am always focused on providing common sense advice geared toward saving you time money, and energy -- let's take a look at a few key points to remember about working in the cloud.
1. You can scale your business
With all sorts of businesses, including the streaming juggernaut Netflix, operating out of cloud based platforms, it is clear that you can use as little or as much, computing capacity as your business needs. This flexibility is not something to overlook, and can make the difference as you try to acquire and service new customers.
2. It is cost effective
At the forefront of any businessperson's mind is, of course, are the costs and opportunities that accompany any new idea or initiative, and this another positive trait of cloud computing. Outsourcing your hardware maintenance and software updates to a third party provider will almost always result in lower costs for you and your business.
3. Data is accessible everywhere
When you have your data, and client data, accessible in the cloud that means that you can access and work with this information from any location at any time. This flexibility gives your business the ability to address client concerns in real time, and react quickly to changes that may impact your business.
4. Cybersecurity is a real issue
Piggy-backing on the previous point, the fact that you are able to access information from anywhere does not come without some level of risk. Since, if your business uses the cloud, you are able to access and work on client data and projects on the road, it is more important than ever to be vigilant about your data security measures. If Fortune 500 firms can be hacked, you can be sure your firm is a potential target as well.
5. Make sure to secure your data
I think we have all seen phones without passwords, laptops left open, and know individuals that use "password1" as their password of choice for sensitive information. Secure your devices, change your passwords on a regular basis (60 to 90 days), and make sure that your anti-virus is up to date.
Working in the cloud, and the topic of cloud computing at large, is an incredibly relevant topic that is important to you as an individual and your business ideas. Like anything else, however, it is important to cut through the noise and focus on some of the key points for you and your business. With cloud computing, and mobile work options only becoming more important, keeping up to date on these issues could make all the difference for you and your business.