Cloud-based software (also referred to as SaaS) allows software to run and be accessed remotely via the internet. This ensures the security and accessibility of information and systems, no matter where people are located.
This article is brought to you by Swingvy.
Since 2020, there has been a rise in businesses turning to cloud-based software, looking to support business continuity with dispersed workforces, and ease the transition into the growing preference of remote working environments.
With many companies implementing flexible or remote work policies, relying on paper workflows or locally stored files or software can cause a number of issues.
From the security of data and information, accessibility of information and even scalability, here are the top issues that can be addressed to positively impact your businesses, by shifting to cloud-based technologies.
- Business continuity with flexible work policies
Business continuity plans were not something many SMEs had prioritised until the 2020 COVID pandemic brought sudden lockdowns and restrictions, pushing companies outside of traditional office environments into the world of remote work. For some, this meant business was halted completely, or for long stretches of time, as the company was not set up to work in remote settings.
For others, who were able to embrace digital and cloud technologies, business continuity plans were easier to implement. Many companies saw the need to remove paper processes and implement streamlined workflows by digitising content and making use of online and mobile-enabled platforms. Cloud-based software allows companies to remain connected to colleagues and clients from anywhere.
- Security of information and data
When using cloud-based software, data is hosted online rather than on personal devices. Many companies worry about the security of online hosting, however, cloud providers go to great lengths and expense to ensure the security of their systems.
Locally held files and software on personal devices however can cause many security issues. Data can be easily shared or copied without the company's knowledge. There is also a great risk of data loss or tampering when the information is not accessible by anyone but the person holding the storage.
- On-demand access/mobility
As teams increasingly shift towards remote and flexible work locations, access to software is a key consideration. Digitising workflows and content can improve the transfer of company information, and ensure data is accessible, and work can be completed no matter where your teams are.
Flexibility is now the top consideration of Singapore workers when looking to join a new company. According to our Singapore Employee Benefits survey, companies with added flexibility and who encourage a work-life balance are most appealing to Singapore workers.
To access cloud software, all you need is an Internet connection. Therefore, any software that will be used widely across the business should be cloud-based. This makes it incredibly useful for the mobility of work, and on-demand access across teams.
- Enhanced collaboration capabilities
With cloud-based spreadsheets and documents, everyone can see the most recent version in real-time, and even collaboratively edit documents while online. Colleagues, and even clients, can all work together on the same files or systems and have access to the most updated information when needed.
Cloud software extends to communication tools that have been essential to many businesses in recent times. Enabling easy communication and collaboration is an essential step to improve business transparency and the productivity of teams.
- Unlimited scalability
Cloud-based software is often unlimited in its scalability. Software can be priced or utilised by headcount, making it easy to upgrade or downgrade on-demand as required to suit the changing demands of your business. This can lead to long-term cost savings of only paying or subscribing for what you use. Cloud software allows you to add and remove resources, modules, space, and features etc., often instantly.
- Updates are managed externally
With cloud technologies, updating user access and security settings can be done remotely. This is incredibly useful for remote workers or regionally/globally dispersed teams, and can often also be done in bulk, saving time for IT administrators or business owners.
The same is true for system updates. With SaaS software, these are often managed by the provider, ensuring you always have the latest version of any software being used, and access to new and improved features without the need to re-download and set up locally hosted software. It also means everyone is working from the same version of the system, without the need for manual input.
About the author and organisation:
The author, Katie Ash, is the marketing lead at Swingvy, a cloud-based HR and payroll platform that simplifies people management and empowers individuals with on-demand access to their HR data and company information at any time.