Cloud computing is simply the name given to using computing services or software over the Internet or over a network. What this means to you as a business owner is that you may not have to spend thousands of dollars for software licenses to be installed in your business computers.

Instead, you can pay a fraction of the amount to access the same software via cloud computing services. You don’t have the software installed on your local computer system. Rather, you access it via your Internet browser.

Using cloud computing can be a great way to access a range of software programs cost-effectively. You also get the benefit of reducing your business’s IT costs. This also gives you the ability to reduce maintenance costs and reduce storage risks, as your information is safely stored ‘in the cloud’ and not on your computer. In the event of a computer failure, you can feel safe knowing that your sensitive business information is backed up securely.

Did you know you could use a cloud computing option for your accounting software packages, such as MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks? Opting for cloud computing options means your software programs are always up to date, as you’re accessing the service provider’s application to input your own business data. No more costly software updates for you.

What’s more, you have the benefit of being able to access your business information even when you’re away from the business. This is because you can log into your account from home on your laptop and still see what’s going on. That is the beauty of using the cloud.

There are several options available in terms of privacy levels when using the cloud service; here is a quick look at them

Public Cloud

A public cloud is one where the service and the infrastructure of the cloud is hosted off-site. In most cases, this means it’s accessible via the Internet and not based on your own internal business computer network. Despite its name, the general public can’t usually access your sensitive business information. Rather, it’s password protected for your account only – which is especially good when you’re using this option for accounting software and services.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is the name given to services and infrastructure that are hosted on your own on-site private network. This is often a more expensive option to install, implement and maintain than a public cloud, but you have far more control over who is able to access the cloud. This option is usually the preferred choice for businesses that require stringent security measures around data privacy.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is one where you can decide which parts of your cloud account are public and which parts remain private. This is usually achieved by using different providers and is often the preferred option for businesses that want to share specific information with clients, but want to keep other sensitive business information private.

Regardless of which option you choose for your business, always ensure that you are diligent about monitoring security levels around your stored data. This will help keep your business information safe.