Strategic use of cloud software

Cloud software can make it easier to rightsize your business. It works by running software on remote servers or clusters of servers instead of installing the software on each of your computers. You can generally use any internet-connected device to access cloud software, unlike software tools of the past that had strict hardware and operating system requirements.

Pros of using cloud software

  • You don’t need to keep track of software versions and manually update dozens of software tools.
  • A wide variety of tools are available. Everything from accounting software to project management tools have moved to the cloud or have extended functionality into the cloud.
  • Cloud software offers flexibility to add and subtract user licenses as your business fluctuates.

Cons of using cloud software

  • Some cloud software companies analyze platform usage data and may use this data to target other services to you or publicly release anonymized versions of usage data.
  • Some cloud software tools could have monthly costs that outweigh their benefits if you are not maximizing the use of your plan.
  • Implementing cloud software assumes that you are comfortable with emerging digital technologies.

Choosing and implementing cloud-based solutions

  • Select software based on your estimated usage today and in the future. Your cloud system should scale with your business plan.
  • Find out how software will integrate with your current business processes, employees and customers.
  • Consider hiring an implementation consultant to evaluate any unintended consequences of a shift to the cloud, such as security of your current internet infrastructure, mobile options, remote access strategies and process and people integrations.
  • Develop a change management strategy as part of your IT implementation.