Is the cloud the best option for your business?

We all know the internet has come along leaps and bounds in the last decade but just how far have we come in terms of convenience and security?

When ‘the cloud’ became a reality a few years back, many managers breathed a sigh of relief at the idea their information was safe and sound in a cushion of floating security, where they were no longer restricted to accessing what they needed whenever they needed it. No longer would they lose data or private information if their hard-drive crashed, and no longer did they have to transport that information everywhere they went. Suddenly, managers and business owners had the capability of logging into the cloud and accessing their information, no matter where they were.

However, just how reliable is the cloud? Here are some things you may wish to consider as you move your business and your information into 2017.

For many, the cloud is no longer the ‘be all and end all’ for information security and convenience. Property managers, especially in Australia, feel limited by the cloud and are looking for a solution that offers greater stability but, more importantly, freedom from poor internet connections and unavailable servers that so many property managers find themselves facing.

In Australia, a good data plan can be hard to find; you may think you are on a good one until you are in a position where your data is shared, reducing the bandwidth when you are out and about using a shared wifi connection, or using the data on your mobile phone plan. Comparatively, Australia is low on the global list for internet speed with our current ranking sitting at 48th. This is actually down from a ranking of 46th in 2015, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Property managers currently feel ‘tied’ to their front desk more often than they wish to be, relying on a not so reliable connection to keep their information up-to-date and to receive information in a timely matter. What accommodation providers need is a solution that can be used from anywhere, one which is not necessarily dependent on the internet.

Even more importantly, property managers may also be concerned with the security of their information being on the cloud.

Recent statistics on information security is proving to be a concern for many organisations across the globe. Many people are asking ‘just how secure is my information on the cloud, and how is my information kept safe?’ Often, we don’t know how secure our internet connection is, or who it’s being shared with, causing more and more people to be concerned for their cyber safety.

Data security is a big risk, even for the largest of organisations. For instance, the recent controversy over the alleged hacking of the US presidential campaign, or even the data security breaches of big organisations such as LinkedIn and Adobe, not to mention countless others. This may indicate that data stored on the cloud is not all that safe. The Australian Financial Review discussed research completed by IMB in an article, indicating that last year the average total organisational cost of a cyber breach had peaked at $2.82 million. Now, even though statistics reflect this figure has dropped since 2015, it’s still a figure that’s too high to ignore.

It can often be a real conundrum for accommodation providers: do they risk hosting their data offsite for the convenience of accessing their data remotely? Or do they host data locally and give up their freedom from the desk? If only there was a solution that could provide the best of both worlds, a solution that will arm managers with the right tool to effectively operate their business from anywhere at any time, without being tied to the front desk, while simultaneously solving these important security and internet concerns.

Providing more opportunities to work flexibly, with the knowledge their information is secure at all times, the future for property managers looks brighter than ever.

Sylvia Johnston

Sylvia is a Senior Executive at HiRUM Software Solutions, which has become one of the global leaders in hotel software, helping hotel and accommodation managers with a complete hotel software solution.

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  1. There are some pessimistic statements included above. Cloud computing provides the best of both worlds in our highly mobile work environment, high security and the convenience for owners/managers & staff to access their property management system from any location (with the appropriate security level of course).
    Internet speed should never be an issue if the “cloud” product is designed for the cloud, ADSL, Wireless 3G & 4G and the NBN all deliver excellent performance if the product is designed correctly.
    Further advantages, the properties are always on the latest version of the vendors PMS and provided their devices are set to accept the latest browser and operating system updates, then they are also using the most secure products from those vendors, including the latest security patches.
    Cloud data is secured and backed up in 1 environment, not spread accross multiple devices that need to sync any changes from multiple locations, 1 environment means any change is instantly available to all users.
    Cloud security is paramount, for cloud vendors their IT security teams must adhere to & exceed the latest “best practice” management, if the latest encryption standards are implemented for all PMS data, then the client is ensured they have the highest level of security.
    Far more systems are breached on local servers/PC’s at the property level as small businesses do not have the resources to maintain the latest “best practices” including security updates accross all the other applications they may be using, not just their Property Management System.
    Mark Payne, CEO
    DigitalRez Australia

    1. Hi Mark

      I totally hear you, but no pessimism intended, simply realism.

      Unfortunately, many systems that purport to be “Cloud” are simply not designed in the correct manner, rendering the level of potential security breach risk to an unacceptably high level. In addition, here in Australia, we have vast areas with almost no telephony service let alone internet, yet these are the areas many tourists want to visit, hence the proliferation of accommodation houses in these regions. So even if the solution is designed well, it’s of no use if you have no internet at the critical moment of guest arrival.

      The intention of our article was simply to pose another viewpoint, highlighting areas we feel should be considered when choosing a PMS, as often vendors of technology are focussed on making a sale rather than providing the right solution.

      But thanks for sharing your views, your insights always make for a good read.

      Sylvia Johnston, Senior Executive
      HiRUM Software Solutions

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