The virtues of cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been hotly debated of late, but for every useful insight there’s an avalanche of myths. Cloud CRM certainly isn’t for everyone, but it can be an incredibly powerful tool for SMEs. To help you work out if it can boost your business, here are four of the biggest misconceptions explained.
1. The cloud compromises data security
Cyber security is a major issue and many SMEs are reluctant to take extra risks when it comes to client data. In reality, though, how well is your current system protected? Do you have any special security measures in place to stop hackers getting into your computer network or servers, or to intercept information sent by email? For most small businesses, the answer is probably no. On the contrary, cloud computing means using systems that specialise in the kind of sophisticated firewalls, security protocols and data encryption processes that are specifically designed to keep your data safe – so for SMEs with limited IT budgets they could actually make you more, not less, secure.
2. Working in the cloud means disruptions and poor service quality
There’s no getting round the fact that you need a robust, reliable internet connection to operate in the cloud. If yours is prone to issues, doing everything through the cloud will be intensely frustrating. But this is not a specific problem with cloud computing – for most businesses, losing your link to the web will make much of your work impossible regardless of whether you’re operating in the cloud. When it comes to cloud disruptions, on the other hand, a decent provider is likely to have better backups, maintenance capacity and round-clock-support than most SMEs have in-house, meaning that cloud-based technical problems can actually be tackled more effectively than those on site.
3. The cloud will mess up our business processes
Switching to the cloud means finding better, streamlined, more efficient ways for your business to do the things it needs to do, as well as creating potential for new ways of working, such as off-site collaboration and searchable customer databases. This may well result in a complete overhaul of the way you run things, but it should be an overhaul for the better. If you can’t see any way in which cloud computing could improve things for your company, don’t use it.
4. The cloud is too expensive
One of the biggest draws of cloud computing is precisely the potential it offers small businesses who want to grow staff and profits, tighten up operations and/or store large quantities of data, all without having to invest in expensive infrastructure or even expand their office space. If you are using the cloud in the best way for your business, you should be either saving money or freeing up the time you need to make it. Keep searching until you find a solution that does this for you.