Have you picked up your phone and scrolled through your Instagram feed today? Logged into your online banking? Or watched a new fave flick on Netflix? You’ve experienced the full-force of the cloud.
What was once an enigmatic buzzword has now taken the world by storm – pun intended. The cloud may seem like a big mystery floating over our heads, but the idea isn’t as complex as you may think.
So what is the cloud exactly?
When you hear savvy people talking about the cloud, what they are really referring to is the internet. When your data is stored ‘on the cloud’, it means you can access it via the internet, rather than directly on your computer’s hard drive. Basically, the cloud is a way to provide you with the software and data storage you need, in a way that you can access whenever you need it.
But how can I access this mystical cyberspace?
Put simply, all you need to access the cloud is to open a web browser and visit a website on your desktop, open an app on your mobile phone, or even tap an app on your Apple Watch. If you have an internet connection, you can access the cloud, no matter the device.
Keep in mind while it seems like an intangible concept, any data kept in the cloud is actually stored on one or more computer servers across the world. This is so the website or software you’re using is reliable, performs well and can handle the workload, no sweat!
Ok, can you give me an example of cloud-based software?
Netflix, Instagram, Dropbox and Google Drive are famous examples of cloud-based platforms that store and serve data. This means that you can watch a binge-worthy show on your lunch break and pick up where you left off when you get home. Or upload some photos to Dropbox and send a link to your bestie on the other side of the world so they can access the exact same files in an instant. It’s practically digital magic!
Hang on – is Shortcuts in the cloud?
Many business management software packages are either fully or partially cloud-based, including Shortcuts. Some of your favourite features, like our Set & Forget Marketing and Online Booking, are powered by the cloud and help you slay your day to day business.
Ok, but is it secure?
At Shortcuts, we ensure your data is stored safely, and can only be accessed by the people who are authorised to do so. It’s easy to define who can access your data, so you can rest assured that your salon software is secure.
We understand the idea of storing personal information ‘in the cloud’ makes many people wary – but in reality, if the software you are using has a solid reputation, your cloud-based data is likely to be no more vulnerable than the data you store on your computer at home or in your salon, spa or barbershop.
In fact, according to a post on a IT Company St. Louis blog, you’re less at risk of losing your valuable data as a result of your computer crashing since cloud-based information is often backed up across several locations. Generally speaking, it is also encrypted, providing a high level of security to prevent hacking.
Great! Should I go cloud-based?
For many salons, the best solution is a combination of cloud-based and on-premise software. This gives you the ultimate reliability and performance you need, but also gives you the advantage of mobility.
Just imagine if you bumped into a friend down the street, and could book an appointment for them in real time on your mobile phone. This would synch instantly with your computer in-salon, providing a solution that is both reliable and fully portable.
The possibilities are endless!