In today's climate of digital disruption, you don't want to get left behind. And one of the easiest ways to ensure this doesn't happen to your New Zealand business is by moving to the cloud. Already, one third of New Zealand's small businesses are using cloud accounting platform Xero, but many more are missing out on the benefits.
Just why does moving your NZ business to the cloud hold so many advantages?
1) Additional functionality for SMEs
In the past, many business applications - particularly surrounding access to data - were only available to large corporations. This is because businesses had to pay to download software onto each individual device. When it came time to update or expand, you needed to purchase the software all over again.
The cloud hosts all these business functions over the internet - giving the SME market increased access to information without the massive costs. "In many ways, this actually advantages SMEs (which are more nimble to move) over larger corporations, which can get bogged down by costly legacy systems," explains Adam Davy, Head of Advisory at BDO New Zealand.
In particular cloud accounting software such as Xero gives SMEs a vast range of real-time insights into their financials - many of which were previously only available to large businesses that could afford to pay for ongoing accountancy services (rather than simply at end of financial year).
Linked to this is the other ways in which cloud technology reduces business costs. Your cloud provider takes care of all maintenance, hardware and update expenses. Most offerings also include a data backup service, which saves you from having to host your backups in on-site servers.
Your whole team can access documentation in the cloud, no matter where they're located.
Another core advantage of the cloud is flexibility. You can simply scale up as your business grows, adding additional users, functions and applications on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, if your business is subject to natural fluctuations, you can also scale down when necessary. That's why CIOs and IT directors rank increased agility as among the top drivers of cloud adoption, Gartner reports.
3) Collaboration on-demand
Your whole team can access documentation in the cloud, no matter where they're located. This means they can update and work on projects together, in real-time. With more and more Kiwis coming to expect flexible work as a given, it's essential you're investing in the technology that enables this - and the cloud can do this above all else.
4) Increased security
Your cloud provider will have the highest security protocols in place to protect your data, far more than you could install on individual devices. You can set permissions varying by user, as well as two-factor authentication to ensure data is only being accessed by the right people. Your data is saved on a cloud server so there'll always be a backup, and most providers also offer end-to-end encryption services as well.
5) Better integration
Cloud software allows a more complete picture of your New Zealand business.
The cloud allows you to integrate with other services such as point of sale, project management or customer relationship management software. For example, when accounting and point of sale are integrated, your financial information and inventory levels will be updated in real-time, giving SMEs a more up-to-date and complete view of their business.
Put simply, cloud software levels the playing field. It gives SMEs access to a broad range of previously unavailable business services and functions, from better backups and security to improved collaboration and access to data. The advantages of moving to the cloud are clear - and so too are the risks of not doing so. Adopt the cloud, or get left behind.
Want to know more about how the cloud can benefit your business? BDODrive helps businesses to assess where they're at today in order to find new opportunities or better ways of doing things. Whether it's by moving to the cloud, sorting out an exit plan or entering a new market, we can find ways to help you grow. For more information, reach out today.