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Boosting your business with cloud technology

Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a…

Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or personal computer.

Cloud has grown in popularity among businesses in all industries across the world. Though more and more businesses have their heads in the clouds and for good reason, some business owners, especially in the developing countries, have yet to transfer their businesses’ data and operations to the cloud. Information Technology experts say using the cloud offers a variety of benefits for business owners, and it is really in their best interest to expend the time and energy to invest in it in order to enjoy its benefits.

The experts say cloud computing is changing how computer needs are fulfilled. With the onset of the cloud, essential aspects of every business like data management, content, and collaboration tools are delivered from the Internet rather than supported by locally installed software and servers, according to the experts.

Moving your company to the cloud may seem overwhelming at first, but the potential benefits are huge. If you are not already using the cloud, it is time to start exploring this option and considering how it can improve your business. These are some of its benefits:

 Cloud saves you money

Implementing the cloud for your business prevents you from needed to invest in the same expensive infrastructure and programming of a company with in-house operations. This can save the company a significant amount of money over time.

Cloud can also save a company money by eliminating the need for in-house IT personnel. When you make the move to cloud computing, all of the programs and services you use will be maintained by your provider. Thus, you won’t need your own full-time IT staff.

Cloud boosts productivity

The programs and processes you are able to access when you utilize the cloud are often more advanced and efficient than those you could afford on your own. In addition, if you choose the right provider, your programs will also be more reliable and kept up-to-date at all times. This leads to enhanced productivity overall.

Cloud improves collaboration

With the cloud, it is easier to connect with colleagues, share information and work on projects with others. These improvements lead to more collaboration within your company, which in turn improves outcomes.

Cloud grows with your company

One of the best things about cloud computing is its scalability. You pay only for the services you need, making it much more cost-effective. These services can also be scaled up or scaled down easily when your needs change, allowing for easier growth.

But many businesses are already using the cloud and don’t even know it. Several services we take for granted such as WordPress, Gmail, Skype and GoToMeeting are cloud-based. And the skies are just going to get cloudier. Cloud-based startups are predicted to number in the thousands over the next few years.

In Nigeria, there many firms that provide cloud-based and on-premises management software for schools, hospitals, pharmacy and businesses. One of them is Choice Cloud, a cloud solution company co-founded by Adenike Taiwo Momolosho, a techpreneur woman.  Momolosho said Choice Cloud was established specifically to assist businesses improve their service deliveries to their customers in a cost-effective manner.

“We introduced an automated solutions to assist businesses boost their productivity. Solution that will enable them to access their customer and business information from anywhere and anytime and make workflow seamless’’, Momolosho said.

For small and medium-sized business owners, she said the independence of running their own business could sometimes be overshadowed by the daily stress of running a business and that is why they need cloud.

She said her firm had launched MySchoolCloud, a school management online software that helps automate school daily processes. “This software was able to meet the needs of schools during the lockdown as it provides platform for classes to be held online and enhance interaction between students and teachers, easy payment of fees online amongst others’’, she added.

Similarly, the firm said it launched MyCloudCRM and Hosted PBX Telephone services last month. She said the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software enables businesses work hard smarter, not harder. “MyCloudCRM is designed specially to make the relationship between SMEs and their customers seamless and mutually rewarding. One of the benefits of automating your business is that your customers’ data are saved in the cloud and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. This eliminates the off chance of a break in communication and other snags. You can keep up with your customers and stay in the loop from anywhere. Additionally, the Hosted PBX Telephony enables you and your staff to connect from anywhere in the world using your VoIP handsets, apps on the mobile phones or web browsers on the desktop. Also, you can all choose to work from home or overseas and still maintain the same PBX number without having to charge extra for roaming’’, she said.

But she said what sets Choice Cloud apart from others is the option of “unlimited users” over “pay per head”.  Choice Cloud also launched MyHospitalCloud, a cloud-based or desktop computer application that takes care of the complete hospital functionalities.

Momolosho said the integrated system is developed to control all hospital operations like electronic medical records, patient records, appointment booking, billing, inventory management, human resources, laboratory, health management organization (HMO), bed management, revenue management, telemedicine and so on. And she said Computer Based Test is specifically developed to assist exam candidates studying for JAMB, WAEC, and other professional exams use computers to practice multiple choice questions and choose appropriate answers.

However, depending on whether you want to make a wholesale move to the cloud or shift a few operations, there are several hot services designed specifically for Small and Medium Business productivity.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS, also known as Software as a Service (SaaS), eliminates the need to build expensive on-premise applications. Users pay their PaaS provider for what they use just like a utility, greatly reducing overhead. Salesforce.com and Amazon Web Services are vying for domination of the cloudsphere with their full suites of cloud offerings that provide the gamut of applications from sales, database management, customer service and private social networking services.

Data storage- MozyPro

MozyPro is a pay-as-you-go data storage and back up service that mitigates the need to purchase hardware. Designed for SMBs, the service uses military-grade encryption to protect your data. Even better, MozyPro is ISO27001 certified, a best practices rating for measurement of information security management.


Outright automates small business accounting by syncing and organizing all of your accounts. It categorizes transactions based on IRS best practices and maintains up-to-date estimates of quarterly and year-end taxes; and, the service uses 256-SSL security—the same protection found in most major banks.


Dropbox works across all platforms and saves your files in the cloud, as well as locally, so they can still be accessed without an Internet connection. It offers 2GB of storage for free, and prices scale up from there. Dropbox also allows file sharing so colleagues or team members can work on the same documents and be assured of never losing a file.


Schedulicity is an online scheduling tool that plugs into social media sites and mobile devices so you can access your calendar from anywhere. Additionally, customers can easily book a meeting with you through Facebook, a mobile app or online, ending the tedious game of phone tag.


Accolo fuses the cloud with the crowdsourcing benefits of social networks to take recruiting to a new level of sophistication. Using Accolo, HR departments can maximize candidate flow and quality by tapping into the natural referral system created by social networks. Accolo’s service also includes an online application process that streamlines the workload of sifting through scores of applicants.

Get your servers out of the closet and into the cloud

How does an SMB wade through the myriad choices and systematically migrate to the cloud without creating the headache of “cloud sprawl”? There are cloud-based services for that, too. For example, Citrix Open Cloud helps a company tailor its migration process so the good features of an on-premise operation are incorporated into the transition.

But you can’t talk about the cloud without mentioning iCloud, Apple’s cloud offering. iCloud stores and manages content and wirelessly pushes it to your devices. The real significance isn’t found so much its usefulness—it’s only helpful in the Mac supported world—but in its role as a high profile legitimizer of the cloud. The seeding of the cloud with the Apple stamp of approval will no doubt precipitate a deluge of more cloud services and businesses.

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