For the independent garage owner, the fear of losing all your data in a virtual world is very real and can make the decision to move to the cloud a no-go. But before you say no to the cloud let’s look at the advantages that comes with moving your workshop to the cloud.
Demystifying the cloud
Effectively, cloud based systems remove the need to install hardware in your workplace, everything you need is accessed via the internet. It’s a solution that’s gathering pace and popularity, especially among small business owners as it enables them to access the latest developments without the investment in hardware which would have been required just a few years ago. In addition, as technology improves, users of cloud systems benefit because it is automatically applied.
However, for many small businesses, the reluctance to switch can be rooted in a mistrust of the internet. There’s a certain sense of security in being able to see your server in the corner of your room or under your desk knowing your files are safely stored rather than existing in a virtual space. A space you can’t see or touch. Some people believe the cloud could disappear literally in a puff of smoke and your valuable data would be gone forever. In reality nothing could be further from the truth but before we look at the cloud let’s take a look at that computer sitting in your workshop.
The hard truth about your hardware
So what would happen if your server stopped working? One of the most common reasons that a server fails is due to a thick layer of dust that accumulates inside this largely forgotten piece of equipment, which is never given a second thought until the day it stops working. In some cases, it can be nearly impossible to retrieve any information when this happens. And you will be left to rummage around for that back-up hard drive to restore your business. You do have a back-up of your data don’t you?
Your server is also vulnerable if your office suffers a break-in or if there’s a fire or flood; anything which could damage your computer equipment. Of course, your server could simply crash; computers are prone to their own disasters, which can often be as a consequence of age but the exact cause often remains largely unexplained.
And then there is the issue of theft. If your computer is stolen, all of your valuable and confidential customer data and business records walk out the door and into the hands of a thief.
So what can the cloud bring to an independent workshop or garage?
The cloud brings security with military-grade encryption which means your information is in the safest hands. The cloud requires no hardware at the user’s end, so as measures to improve an already highly secure systems increase, these developments are automatically passed onto the user. Companies no longer need to develop complex and expensive disaster recovery systems because everything is stored on the cloud.
Most cloud applications are backed up on an almost instantaneous basis, around one minute behind real-time, which means anything which needs to be recovered is backed up to 60 seconds beforehand. And there’s no need for a manual backup.
3. Grows as you grow
If a company needs additional bandwidth capacity, the cloud automatically delivers it by diverting its energies according to the demand. This is achieved with no effect on any other systems because the remote servers supporting the cloud are so vast and can easily absorb and react to changes in nanoseconds. As your business grows you will not need to run out and buy bigger hard drives and more powerful computers.
4. Always up-to-date
Cloud applications are being developed and updated on a rapid, continual basis, but users of the cloud don’t need to invest in new hardware to run new versions of them, or even to pay to upgrade applications. Users automatically receive the latest application version with no need to download programmes or install software disks. Simply accessing the application ensures you’re on the latest version.
5. No capital investment
There is no requirement for you to buy the latest equipment to keep up with the extremely fast pace of technology or pay for more licences if demand for system usage by your employees grows. This removes the fear of finding yourself operating a legacy system and facing a huge investment to upgrade if it needs to be replaced. Using cloud computing services means companies can ‘pay as you go’ speeding the time to get up and running while reducing the up-front costs.
The cloud also enables smaller businesses to become more competitive as they too have access to the latest developments and technological advances without the crippling level of investment which would have been required in the past.
Since the maintenance and development is managed by the cloud application suppliers, the time of IT personnel in companies is freed up providing them with greater opportunity to focus on other aspects of the company’s technology requirements.
7. Access from anywhere
Working in the cloud means you can work from anywhere; from your home to the beach in Marbella. It also opens up the possibilities for employee collaboration because anyone can have access to the same set of information.
8. Enterprise grade
If you are using cloud based systems, make sure the companies behind them are both trustworthy and where you can be confident the infrastructure exists to ensure the best procedures and latest technologies are in operation. Look for cloud-based providers that use enterprise grade back-ends by companies like IBM, Amazon, Rackspace and Microsoft.
9. Use on any device
Most of today’s cloud applications are built ‘responsively’, which means they adapt to perfectly fit the wide range of web-enabled devices today, whether smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. So where traditional computer-based systems require installation on each machine/device, the cloud frees you from that restriction. You can access applications from any web-enabled device, and from anywhere in the world.
10. You are using it already
You are already using the cloud without even thinking about it. Facebook, Gmail and LinkedIn, for example, are all cloud-based systems.
The benefits of moving your garage to the cloud vastly outweigh the fear that the cloud is going to disappear. The question you should be asking is not how safe is the cloud, but how safe is your server?
CarVue is a revolutionary cloud-based application for independent workshops, garages and mechanics. It’s a simple and smart app that removes the need for expensive servers, software upgrades or training to run a garage.
With a simple web browser a workshop can be managed from any device, any time and from anywhere. Find out much more and sign up for an obligation free trial today at www.carvue.com