We all know that cloud computing is the future. But how do you sell cloud into your client base when there is resistance to change? Samuel Stadler of cloud inventory software provider Unleashed Software has written a primer on keeping the cloud conversation going with your clients.
The key is to keep it simple.
Your client may be a small to medium sized enterprise, and it is fairly likely that they would have come across cloud computing before. Yet they might not know exactly what “the cloud” is, or fully understand how it can reduce both effort and expenditure on IT for their business.
So let’s explore the concept of storing information in the cloud and learn how you might lead a conversation with a client to get them to think about how these concepts can apply in practice to their enterprise.
Why not start with a basic question and ask what “the cloud” actually means to your client?
You can then highlight any number of key advantages. We have provided four of these for you, below:
- Anytime anywhere access
- Easier to setup and use
- Backups are more secure
- More favorable for the bottom line
Read on to see how we’ve explored each of these areas in each section below.
Key Advantage 1: Anytime Anywhere Access
Not so long ago most small businesses stored information on individual devices or occasionally on a server connected to a few other computers in a small network. Users of information within the business would need to access information from that particular device, which in practice meant either physically logging on to the device, printing documents out or using media such as USBs to migrate information to a new device. This means that multiple versions of a particular piece of information might exist, and that each copy will generally only be accessible through the device on which it is stored.
By contrast, in the cloud there may only be one copy of some information, but that copy will be accessible from multiple devices and it would be able to be accessed by various members of a project or team if required. In practice, this means that users are not tied to their computers or local networks but can access vital information systems from any internet connected place in the world.
This markedly improved access to business information is the principal benefit of cloud software for most small to medium enterprises. However many teams find that migrating to the cloud brings other benefits, including ease of use, enhanced information security and financial savings.
Key Advantage 2: Cloud software is easy to set up and intuitive to use
Most cloud applications are geared to be as painless as possible right from the get go. Whereas traditional software requires an installation on each device, all that is typically required for cloud software is completing forms for user registration and billing information. And importantly, with cloud apps, bug fixes and updates are automatically rolled out, meaning IT support or end users do not need to manually update software installations. Although savvy users and IT experts will enjoy saving time and effort, the real benefit of this simple process is that powerful and up to date software becomes readily available to businesses regardless of whether they have an IT support function.
Key Advantage 3: Information is preserved and secured
A common concern with cloud software is a perceived loss of control and security over information when data is stored in the cloud. This is an understandable concern, although the reality is that security standards are in fact much higher for vendors of commercial cloud software than for a typical small business. Information in cloud applications is only accessible after user authentication, ensuring that access is only granted to the correct people. By contrast, information that is directly stored on user devices is susceptible to unauthorized access if that device is lost, stolen or is otherwise compromised by a virus or malware.
It is also important to note that cloud software vendors continually back up the contents of cloud storage, so businesses can be assured that their information is preserved. If a business works in the cloud its information will be safe even if its hardware is destroyed or damaged by a fire or natural disaster.
Key Advantage 4: Migrating to the cloud makes financial sense
Better access and productivity, a simpler implementation and upgrade process, and the mitigation of information security risks are all good reasons to shift to the cloud. Each of these factors is likely to bring about savings for your business. Moreover, cloud software has a small initial outlay as users are not necessarily required to purchase a software package upfront. Instead, a business can pay for its usage on a monthly basis. This means that software costs become operating rather than capital expenditure and can be deducted more easily for accounting and tax purposes. This pay-as-you-go model is particularly suitable for smaller businesses which may find it difficult to allocate a large capital budget for IT ahead of time.
Samuel Stadler is a VP for Unleashed Software. You can learn more about Unleashed at