Despite the name, the cloud has nothing to do with the sky above our heads and is instead more directly related to the world around us. It’s about taking pieces of information and making them available wherever you happen to be, regardless of where you happen to be, provided that you have access to some type of device with an active Internet connection.
Demystifying “The Cloud”
Think of it this way: if you created a single file on your computer in “the old days,” that file would be stored locally on that computer’s hard drive. Do you want to make edits to that file? So long as you’re sitting at the computer it was created on, you can do exactly that. Are you halfway around the world on vacation? You’re out of luck and you’ll have to wait until you get back into the office.
With the cloud, however, that has all changed. The file was never stored on the source computer’s hard drive at all – it was stored, for all intents and purposes, on the Internet. Because of that, so long as you have access to the Internet, you can access the file – whether you’re at home or stuck in traffic or are in Bermuda on vacation or are somewhere in between.
Though this is admittedly a simplification of the concept of cloud computing, it’s easy to see how that one single benefit could improve your daily operations in the world of the franchise industry almost immediately. Now, when you consider that the benefits actually extend quite a bit deeper than that, you begin to get a better understanding of why the cloud is more than worth paying attention to.
Breaking Down the Barrier of Geography
As someone who manages multiple territories or multiple locations within a single territory, you are no doubt already well aware that geography is one of the biggest obstacles that you face on a daily basis. It’s impossible to be in more than one place at one time and it’s nearly as difficult to adequately oversee what is going on in different locations that are all operating independently, but need to feed into one another for the benefit of the company as a whole.
This is one of the many reasons why the cloud is so important – it helps to not just break down this barrier, but completely shatter it for all time and for the better. Thanks to cloud-based software in the franchise industry and the huge volume of data being created as a result, you can check in on any location that you need to almost instantly with a computer, a tablet, a smartphone or something else entirely. You may not physically be there, but you can be just as productive and keep just as watchful of an eye as you could if you were.
Productivity Wherever You Need, Whenever You Need
Another one of the many benefits of the cloud takes the form of mobile computing. Because apps are no longer hardware dependent and are instead commonly served up in a “software as a service” capacity, you don’t have to be stuck at a desk in an office to be productive. Employees in the field don’t have to wait until they return to base to update customer records or file reports – they can make that information available to the rest of their team instantly with their smartphone. It isn’t about just doing more work – it’s about doing better work than ever before.
The cloud in general is one of the most significant technological advancements to come around since the invention of the Internet in the first place. While it’s true that it represents a dramatic shift in the world of the franchise industry, this is not something to be feared. It is to be embraced thanks to the positive changes that it allows you to make to the way you do business on a daily basis.
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