5 Benefits of Using Cloud-based Risk Software
The cloud-based software revolution has arrived, and more cloud-based risk software is available than ever before. But what benefits do you actually get from cloud-based software? Here’s a short list of the gains you can expect.
The big picture: risk software-as-a-service (SaaS)
Cloud-based software is all about the idea of software-as-a-service (SaaS). Traditionally software was something you purchased once and installed on your machine. Now, SaaS is about providing software for a lower ongoing fee not limited to one machine. Cloud-based risk software is one of the most promising areas of SaaS.
Benefit #1: Access online anywhere, anytime
The greatest benefit of cloud-based risk software is that you have access to the software anywhere, anytime. All you need is a device that can connect to the internet using an internet browser. Licences are usually issued to users, rather than machines. So the same user can access the software from any machine.
This makes a whole lot of sense in risk software, where the typical user is moving about a lot. One day will be at the desktop PC, the next will be on a laptop in meetings, the next will be using a phone or tablet in the field. The risk software goes with you.
Benefit #2: No local installations, no slowdowns
One of the side benefits of cloud-based risk software is that it usually eliminates the need to install anything on the machine. The software runs in an internet browser. When software has to be installed on the machine, it means that you are limited to working on certain machines. It also means that you have to wait to download the software if you want to set up on a different machine.
Cloud-based risk software allows you to run on any device using a compatible internet browser. No problems with being tied down to that one computer that has the software you need.
Another benefit of browser-based software is that you avoid slowing down your computer. Computers have limited processing horsepower (particularly on laptops), and having a lot of software installed on a machine can really impact on performance. Now it’s possible to operate a business almost entirely without locally installed software.
Benefit #3: Live updates for life
The idea of SaaS is that you are purchasing the latest, greatest version of the software every time you pay your licence subscription. When you sign up for cloud-based risk software, you don’t have to buy the new version when it comes out. Most cloud-based software subscriptions are based on the idea that you get ongoing updates and patches without additional charge.
Older software often had a vintage (e.g. XYZ Office 2013) which would get update patches but had a limited shelf life. Subscribers to cloud-based software are essentially making ongoing payments for whatever great advancements that the software makes. The licence also covers regular patches, which are often essential fixes for security or functionality bugs.
Benefit #4: Automatic backups and live security
The software, and all the data you have in the software, is hosted in the cloud. This means that it isn’t on your business server (although it is stored on a server somewhere). The SaaS provider takes responsibility for the hosting and secure storage of your data.
Cloud-based risk software usually performs routine back-ups of your data, which are made available in the event of a disruption. You no longer need to keep track of backing up your data on the system.
The provider also takes responsibility for protecting your data against security breaches. It is quite common for a SaaS provider to work with a server provider. The SaaS provider could be a small or a large company, but the server provider is usually a large entity with serious resources dedicated to security.
Benefit #5: Mobile devices
Another benefit of cloud-based risk software is that it usually comes with functionality for mobile devices. The software is browser-based, and therefore can run on any device with a compatible internet browser. This includes laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Most SaaS providers offer a version of their software optimised for mobile devices. This may be as a mobile application (available to download from the app store), or as a built-in module optimised for mobile device internet browsers.
Sometimes the mobile versions of cloud-based software get more use than the desktop versions. For example, you might predominantly use a cloud-based risk software package for risk audits. In that case you’re likely to use the mobile auditing application all the time, because it lets you run audits from anywhere, has geo-tagging features, and can take photos using the device camera as evidence.
The cloud-based software has already taken over a lot of software market segments. Many providers of traditional software are transitioning to subscription-based delivery in order to compete with SaaS. With risk software, you can certainly expect the future to lie in agile cloud-based tools. For many reasons, it is just the smartest way to deliver software for risk management.
One of the leading cloud-based risk software packages on the market is RiskView. The RiskView platform has been purpose-built as a cloud-based software package and inherently supports online collaboration. The hosting and security is provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has been certified by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD, the leading Australian government cyber security agency). RiskView is available on free trial periods to allow new users to experiment with the software before purchasing a month-to-month or annual subscription. For more information, visit the Meercat website.
What tools and processes do you use for risk management? How many of them could be better managed using cloud-based tools?