Using The Cloud… For Dummies

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If you’ve been struggling to keep up with all the latest technology in your tradie business, it’s time to get with it.

Apprentice tradies who’ve come straight from school never knew a world without the internet and most would’ve had a smartphone for as long as they can remember!

There are so many ways you can integrate tech into your trades business but one of the tech trends that is really simple but isn’t well understood is the Cloud. It’s nowhere near as mysterious as it sounds, so we’ve put together a quick explainer with a few examples to make understanding the cloud simple.

The Basics

The cloud is pretty simple. A computer with a tower and a screen, or a laptop, is known as hardware. The programs that run on it, like your invoicing tool or Microsoft Word, are known as software. In traditional computing, both of those things were “housed” inside your machine.

Cloud computing is different. You still have your hardware (your laptop, phone, tablet) but your software isn’t always installed in your machine. Instead, you access it via the internet. The place where the software package and your data is stored, along with millions of other people’s, is called the cloud.

Public Cloud

Chances are you are already using a cloud service without realising it. In fact, if you have Gmail or any company email account that you can access via your phone or iPad while you’re out of the office or at home on your computer, then you are using the cloud. Your data is stored in the cloud in one place, but you can access it from many different “doors” usually just by typing your login details into any web browser on any device.

Practical Uses for the Cloud

The most practical uses of the cloud for tradies are through the applications that are built specifically for it. For example, accounting software providers like Xero, MYOB, and Quickbooks all have cloud-based accounting software solutions. That means that you can have your accounting information accessible from anywhere. It also means that using these software tools you can create invoices from your phone or tablet as soon as you finish a job. You also get the peace of mind of knowing that if your device is stolen or damaged, you can get all of your financial data back by downloading it from the cloud to your new device.

The same thing can be done for non-financial data by using a service like Dropbox or Apple iCloud to back up your data. Both have a free option with a limited amount of storage. But by upgrading for just a few dollars a month you’ll have loads of space to make sure all of your work plans, photos, quotes and anything else are automatically backed up and saved into the cloud every day. It’s a little like renting a virtual filing cabinet to make sure that all your information is there in case you lose something.

Your goodwork profile lives in the cloud too! Start building a profile, uploading photos of your work and making contacts and we’ll keep it all safe for you – even if you break or lose your phone.

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