(This article was first posted on VMD Technology)
A change has been unfolding around us for several years. At first, we didn’t even notice it. Today, it would be difficult for most of us to imagine being without it. “It” has had many names – grid computing, application service provision, software-as-a-service – but we now know it as “the cloud.”
The cloud has enabled countless Web-based technologies that have become integrated into our personal lives – email (e.g., Gmail), file storage (e.g., Dropbox) and voice over IP (e.g., Skype) – as well as into our businesses. Among these are applications that help businesses manage their finances (e.g., Quickbooks Online), marketing (e.g., Constant Contact) and office productivity (e.g., Google Apps).
Many articles have been written about the benefits of cloud technologies generally. We’re going to look at how these technologies can help veterinary practices specifically.
Access Your Data Anywhere.
Whether you’re working remotely, or you receive an emergency call in the middle of the night, cloud technologies allow you to access your data from any Internet-enabled device. Improved access to data leads to improved efficiency, which in turn leads to a healthier practice
Storing your data in the cloud means that it can be shared by your staff simultaneously from multiple locations. It also ensures that everyone is working with the latest information, which will lead to fewer errors and improved efficiency.
Improve Data Security.
Cloud technologies allow you to save, back up and restore your data remotely (or even do it for you automatically). The same cannot be said about data that is stored on computers at your clinic (that can crash or be stolen), or if your clinic experiences a fire.
The infrastructure required to operate cloud technologies is managed by the vendors who supply them, which means that you don’t need to invest in servers, updates or consultants. Also, subscription plans include updates and support for no additional fee, and give you the flexibility to choose a plan option that fits your needs.
Speed and Scale.
Cloud technologies are built to be quick to implement and to grow along with your practice. They are often ready for use in minutes instead of weeks or months, which means that you can realize a return on your investment more quickly.
Business of all sizes are adopting cloud technologies as a way to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Technological competitive advantages that were once available only to those with the resources to afford them are now available to all businesses thanks to cloud technologies. The migration to the cloud is accelerating, and soon we will wonder how we ever managed without it.