top of page

Cloud Essentials

What is the cloud?


The Cloud is essentially a huge variety of communications and operating capability and functionality made possible over the internet.


The cloud market place is crowded with a huge and rapidly growing choice of services and applications that operate across multiple devices such as smart phones, tablets, lap tops, note books and desk top computers.


Why should I move some or all of my business operating systems into the cloud?



Many on line applications, such as Quickbooks On Line and Xero for your bookkeeping and accounting, offer similar or improved functionality compared to desk top equivalents.

Cloud Eco System

In addition, one of the main advantages of using cloud systems is you enter the entire eco system of on line cloud applications with a vast array of open source technologies that integrate and work well with each other.  For example by moving to QBO, Xero or other cloud accounting software, you can access bespoke applications that work seamlessly with your accounting system to control stock, handle customers, manage your staff, record time, manage your bank accounts, pay suppliers, monitor your fixed equipment, chase your debtors ...etc. The list is huge.


Cost and Ease of Management

Another advantage for small and medium sized businesses is often cost.  Many cloud applications work on a monthly cost per user or cost per application basis and can be far more cost effective than setting up your own local installations of software, together with saving the administration time and expertise needed to maintain your system for upgrades, updates and avoiding service interruptions and technical issues associated with server based systems.  With cloud based software you're always using the latest version without having to install the patches and upgrades, and reliable cloud service providers will be at 99.9% plus uptime with negligible service interruptions.

Real-time live data accessible anywhere on multiple devices

Your cloud data is accessible anywhere you have a suitable device (personal computer, notebook, tablet or smart phone) and a suitable wireless or wired internet connection.  

This is a fantastic opportunity to work more closely with your customers, taking your device and full business functionality with you when you visit your customers, allowing you to do live new business quotes and processing customer orders and information direct using your cloud based system.

The cloud also allows for greater collaboration with your team and your professional service providers, across cities and globally, and facilitates managing your business from home and when on the move. 

Internet Connectivity and Data Security

There are a number of other considerations, for example you need a good internet connection and ensure the security for your data (more detail below).


An Age of Opportunity

There's an overwhelming choice of apps in the cloud to cover all your business functions.  This is great news for small businesses as we're now in an age of opportunity where a huge amount of technology and functionality is available at a low cost enabling small businesses to gain enterprise grade functionality.  

How do we choose our cloud service providers?

We demystify the cloud for you, by analysing your requirements for your particular business needs and helping you choose a suite of applications that will work well for you and help you achieve your vision.  


In addition we help you ensure your applications work together and integrate and synchronise as required, together with user friendly reporting dashboards to quickly show your key real-time business performance information.


Where is my business data?


Cloud service providers host your data in a data centre.  Depending on your provider the data centre may be in the United States, Australia, or may be at variable locations at different times of the day.


We help you choose reputable cloud service providers who have robust data centre hosting arrangements, ideally where your data is secure and regularly backed up to a second location back up hosting facility.

How does my team, access my business data?


Depending on your cloud service provider your staff can log in from any location with their unique log ins and passwords.  The majority of cloud applications allow you to monitor your staff log in activity.


Is my business data safe?

The majority of cloud applications have strong bank level security arrangements in place with a combination of secure passwords and in some cases dual log in procedures such as a second log in code sent to a telephone or other device.


Most banks have been hosting personal banking data and functions in the cloud for many years now, with appropriate data security controls in place.


We help you evaluate the security of each of your cloud applications, and where you deem it necessary additional security measures can be applied.


Some cloud providers retain your log in key (such as Dropbox and Google docs) so you are reliant on them keeping your log in details safe, whereas others provide you with ownership of your own log in keys (such as  


Cyber theft is a threat, often through weak passwords, lost passwords or passwords obtained through spear phishing emails, so we help you chose robust tools to protect your business to help you become cyber attack resilient.

Your choice of cloud service providers and the associated security arrangements is influence by how far you want to take your security arrangements.  For many small businesses the bank level security included in reputable cloud based software. together with strong passwords, and password protocol, provides adequate data security. 


Who can access my business data?


You control which users access each of your cloud applications.  This can include selected members of your staff, your professional advisors, and technical support staff who work with your cloud service provider.  Most cloud applications allow you to select user and administrator rights so you can control the functions and access rights of individual users to best suit your needs.


In extreme circumstances Government authorities have the right to access your data, for example the US Patriot Act has empowered the US government to gain access to business records hosted in the United States under certain strict criteria.


What services can I get from the cloud?


There is literally no limit to the services available in the cloud to help you and your business.  


There are three broad categories of service types.


Software as a service (Saas)

Software as a Service (Saas) is the provision of software over the internet, typically on a monthly cost per user basis, as an alternative to you installing and running software on your own devices.


Examples of SaaS include Quickbooks On Line and Xero, two popular cloud accounting service providers in Australia, and an exciting array of cloud applications including CRM systems (such as Sugar SRM/Sales Force), document management, security, storage and collaboration (Google Drive, Sharepoint, Dropbox,, Asset management systems (Asset Guru), Expense managment (Receipt Bank), Email (Google, Amazon), Human Resources (Orange CRM), Project Management (SO planning), team collaboration and communication (Slack), forecasting (Spotlight), business analytics (Finegraph), eCommerce (Shopify) and a whole range of other applications to help you run your business smoothly. 


We help you choose a number of user-friendly applications that provide great value and functionality to meet your highest business needs, making running your business more efficent and straight forward.  Our aim is to help you select applications that are intuitive to use and solve your problems, motivate your staff and add value to your business.


Generally SaaS is of more interest to Small and medium sized businesses than and Iaas and PaaS.


 Infrastructure as a service (Iaas)


Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the provision of servers, storage, operating systems and networks over the internet, as an alternative to purchasing your computing infrastructure such as your own desk top, and server, storage and processing capability.


An example of this is where you want additional data storage and rather than upgrade your machine, you store (and share and collaborate) your data in the cloud. 


Platform as a service (PaaS)


Platform as a services (PaaS) is essentially a computing platform that allows the creation of web applications quickly and easily and without the complexity of and costs of obtaining the software and infrastructure to support it.  PAAS can be accessed through an internet connection to functionality hosted in a data centre, or via an internet connection to software installed on a server.


Examples of PaaS are Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk that developers use to push their apps into the Amazon Cloud, or Google's Apps Suite allowing developers to build and host Web apps quickly and easily.

Hybrid Solutions

Some Cloud Serice providers deliver a hybrid solution where your application operates parlty on line and partly on your local device.  For example MYOB Account Right Plus relies on a local iteration of the software to operate this application, even though the data is stored in the cloud.

Some cloud services allow off line processing of data, for example GoodleDocs and Dropbox both allow you to mirror and store your cloud based data on your local device.  You can continue working on documents on your own device when you're off line, and the changes you've processed all synchronise and update to your cloud data store when you go back on line. So your local device acts as a cache in this situation.




The Cloud presents huge opportunities for your small or medium sized business to run your affairs smoothly and efficiently and elevate the service experience you provide to your customers.


The Cloud also affords the opportunity for you and your staff to work effectively from multiple locations on multiple devices. 



With our help and guidance you can choose the right applications and enjoy a robust framework to leverage the cloud and boost your business performance.



For an initial chat, or for more information, about how the cloud can help your business please contact us. 







bottom of page