We would like to preface this blog with a clarification. We think that everyone should be on the cloud. Well, we think everyone that CAN be on the cloud should be on the cloud.
There are many factors to consider whether you should make the move across to the cloud. But one is definitely a ‘make or break’ issue. Your internet.
The cloud simply just does not work without the internet. So, if your internet connection is unreliable, and you consistently experience internet outages then the cloud might not be the best decision for your practice.
But before you write off the cloud completely, it might be worth seeing if there is anything you can do to improve the internet at your practice. We’ve written another blog about minimising internet outages which you can read here. It might seem like a bit of a mountain to climb to be able to move across to the cloud, but we promise it will be worth it.
Right, now internet isn’t an issue, we’re going to talk to you about why your practice should be on the cloud.
First things first… do you actually know what the cloud is? We’ll explain…
The Cloud. You probably use it everyday, but it’s our experience that the majority of people cannot explain what the Cloud is, and any explanation seems to end with gesturing towards the sky as if their data is literally stored up there in the clouds.
We don’t want to confuse with a long-winded technical explanation, so here’s a simple and easy to understand summary. The cloud simply refers to software and services than run on the Internet, instead of on the computers or servers within your veterinary practice. All the data isn’t just floating around in the sky, it’s stored elsewhere (usually in multiple places) on servers owned and maintained by technology providers such as Google and Amazon. You access the data on these servers via the internet.
Moving across to the cloud has so many advantages, we’ll walk you through them below:
Okay, so we admit it. You might not save money right away, it might take some of your hard earned money to make the switch. But in the longer term, you will save money for your veterinary practice.
The alternative to the cloud is an on-premise server, which is expensive to buy, costly to maintain and will eventually need replacing. Essentially the hardware is a cost that you won’t incur when you move to the cloud, which is a much more affordable subscription based model.
When it comes to setting up systems (whether you’re setting up a new practice or updating your current infrastructure), cloud based systems are quicker to set up. It’s even relatively fast to transfer your data across to the cloud from an on-premise server.
On top of this, you’ll find that once you’re running on the cloud that the speeds you experience make everyday tasks a lot quicker, saving your team time and effort.
The key advantage of switching to the cloud is that it allows for greater flexibility when accessing your practice data from outside the premises. This means that you and your team are able to work from home, or another site easier.
Although it is possible to connect to an on-site server to work flexibly, this can take time to set up, and needs to be completed and maintained by an IT professional to ensure that it is secure.
The worry when working flexibly is making sure that you team are still able to work together collaboratively.
The cloud will allow your team to work together seamlessly no matter where they are, from home or from another practice. They will be able to work on documents share data and complete projects at the same time from different locations. The documents they work on will be continually updated and versions tracked and saved to ensure nothing is missed.
If you use on-premises servers then you are responsible for implementing and managing all the security yourself. Which can be a full-time job in itself, and probably one that best left to a professional.
The beauty of going cloud based is that the service provider you use will have inbuilt threat detection and prevention (Security as a Service or SaaS) as well as multiple copies of your data across different servers. Meaning that it is harder for hackers to access your data and easier for you to recover if they do. You will still need to implement some of your own security too though.
Are you just starting up a new practice that you expect to grow? Or maybe you are planning on expanding your practice with another site? Either way the cloud would be a fantastic investment for you.
As a subscription-based service, cloud resources are provided on an as-needed basis, meaning that you can increase your usage as needed, which means you can scale up and down quickly depending on growth. And if you suddenly find yourself with a reduced workforce for a period of time (during a global pandemic for example) you can make that adjustment too.
So, there are just some of the benefits of moving across to the cloud. If you would like to know more and learn how it could benefit your veterinary practice, why not book in a quick chat with one of our Veterinary IT Experts.