5 ways the cloud can help you run a better startup


SME owners today are busy, tech-savvy and under enormous pressure to drive profits and revenues – that’s why they need software ready to take advantage of the latest technology trends.

This is according to Steven Cohen, head of Sage One International for Africa, Australia, Middle East, Asia and Brazil, who says these entrepreneurs are the drivers of prosperity and it is their entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world.

Cohen says the cloud changes everything by allowing these entrepreneurs to work anywhere, anytime. Here are a few ways he says users of accounting and payroll software can run better businesses:

Fewer IT headaches, better IT performance

“With a cloud-based software application, the responsibility for IT maintenance, software upgrades and any system issues lies with the service provider,” Cohen said.

“Our cloud customers tell us that the cloud is liberating because they don’t need to install software or hassle about updates and upgrades. As such, SMEs can stay close to their core business rather than worrying about technology. Plus, they usually find that cloud systems are more reliable and feature-rich than the old DOS-based systems they have used for years.”


“Cloud-based software can be accessed on a pay-as-you-go model, so SMEs don’t need to worry about overinvesting in software licenses. They can add more users as the business grows or decrease spending if they need to. For example, if they have a lot of seasonal workers or contractors they bring on board for projects, they can pay for payroll software per payslip rather than buying a license upfront.”

Increased security

Cloud computing can be more secure than traditional IT, says Cohen.

“Established cloud suppliers invest vast amounts of money into securing their applications and have technology infrastructures beyond the means of any small business,” he says. “There’s also less risk of losing data stored on a laptop or a USB stick because everything is stored in the cloud and not on devices that could be lost or stolen.”

Mobile productivity and collaboration

“The future is mobile and we are giving our customers the power to control their businesses from the palm of their hand,” Cohen says. Technology seems to be taking over a lot of businesses. It is in the hands of companies to use this to their advantages in order to increase profit, grow their business and more importantly, expand their customers/clients. The use of data integration tools for the job at hand would work in the favour of many companies, especially when it comes to sales, accounts and the management side.

“Users can simply log in from wherever they are and start working. Because their data is in the cloud, it is available online, anywhere and anytime. Mobile apps for accounting solutions, for example put customer and accounting information in the palm of user’s hands. They can log on from wherever they are to view customer information, record notes, search for customers as well as contact them.”

Gain business insight

Cohen says today’s SMEs don’t merely need an electronic recordkeeping system, but also want to analyse and understand the business instead of just submitting tax returns, printing customer statements and sending out payslips.

“Cloud solutions enable them to access this functionality at an affordable cost,” he says.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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