Cloud computing is here to stay, studies have shown that most in-house systems will start becoming obsolete over the next few years. Given the massive advantages of cloud based software it is not difficult to see why. One of the most common forms of cloud computing is Software as a Service (SaaS) which in many ways is the most logical utilisation of cloud technology. Software as a Service Cloud is a software distribution model where applications are hosted entirely by the service provider, clients then access the services over the internet. This eliminates the need for potentially invasive and costly setup on the behalf of the customer. It also vastly reduces set up time, often allowing users to begin almost immediately.
As well as set up convenience Cloud SaaS also offers flexibility with regards to the product itself. As long as there is an internet connection there is access to most Cloud SaaS software. This means, in the case of SaaS CRM (Customer Relationship Management), staff can gain access to customer data at any time, any place and on any device. For example a salesperson on the train to a meeting may wish to access the records of the lead they are visiting. Likewise a customer service executive can check which clients require attention whilst working from home.
Perhaps the biggest concern about moving operations to the cloud is that of security. Interestingly 82% of people say data security was a concern when adopting a cloud-based solution, however only 2% were concerned by lack of awareness from the people they buy IT from! (source Cloud Industry Forum)
Businesses can feel uneasy about a lack of direct access to the infrastructure, however most of these concerns are unfounded. Most Cloud SaaS companies run operations from secure data centres with no data ever being removed. Another benefit to cloud computing is that it negates the need for individuals to carry potentially high risk data on personal devices such as laptops or hard drives. Cloud SaaS suppliers will often set permission facilities and user levels which allows clients to carefully determine who accesses what information on their database. A freelance salesperson for example may be granted access to relevant data for a limited time and then have to request permission before seeing any more.
For more information on Cloud based computing, please see our top 10 Advantages of the Cloud