It's a phrase we're hearing more and more these days, and Sage packages
such as the online based Sage CRM and Sage One use it, but what does ‘cloud computing' actually mean?
In basic terms cloud computing is a way to add services, share information and receive updates without investing in new infrastructure. For the user this means you can benefit from services and exchange data without having to buy or install new hardware, you merely need to download a user interface (generally via a web browser) to allow you access to the cloud. The likelihood is that you are already using cloud computing in one form or another. Do you have a Facebook account, Gmail email address or Google+ page? It's far more common than you might have initially thought.
The convenience of cloud computing is that you can access your data from any connected device; so there's no need to install hardware or software on multiple computers and have to purchase licences for extra users. This is commonly referred to as ‘SaaS' or ‘Software as a Service', and it is a fast developing industry that connects users to products without the user having to own or maintain a piece of software or a local server. For the service provider, the convenience of cloud computing is that only one application needs to be maintained, which translates into a faster and more efficient service for the is customers.
Cloud computing is a fantastic platform for those who don't wish to manage their own servers and administrate their own databases, and it is seeing an increase in popularity across all business sectors. Sage One and Sage CRM.com are both examples of cloud-based accounting services that are fantastic for small businesses to manage payroll and customer relationships online.
To read more about how cloud computing can best serve your accounting needs visit the Sage One
and Sage CRM
websites, and be sure to keep checking this blog for more information on all Sage products.