The Cloud—The Technology Buzzword of 2016

The cloud. This shouldn’t be a term you’ve never heard of as it’s been tossed around the technology industry for a couple of years now. But if this is your first time hearing it, it’s time to pay attention and learn all you can since technology experts have declared 2016 as “the year of the cloud.”

And it’s not just the technological gurus who will be using this term throughout the year. Dr. John Flucke said the cloud was going to be one of the top 10 dental tech trends during 2015, so it’s something everyone in the dental industry needs to be aware of. But even with all the hype surrounding it, most dentists don’t understand what the cloud is or how it affects their practice.

Here are some interesting stats, according to the 2014 DPR Survey, about the cloud and dental professionals:

This survey tells us that dentists don’t fully understand the cloud and how it can benefit them, yet 71 percent of the time they’re the ones making the final decision of whether or not their practice moves to a cloud-based system.

So if you’re still unsure of what the cloud is and what it can do for your dental practice, here’s what you need to know.

Many companies use a cloud-computing platform, and the cloud-computing industry is a big one.

Forbes conducted a survey, and of the numerous people surveyed, 75 percent presently use some form of cloud-computing platform, while according to Eclipse, 86 percent of companies use more than one type of cloud-computing service. Many today use four services. And the global cloud-computing industry is no small industry. It’s predicted worth at the end of 2014 was more than $150 billion.

Everyday data you use are data types commonly stored in the cloud.

Some of the top data types stored in the cloud are photographs, emails, business documents, calendars and address books—all of which dental practice use and need quick access to. Storing this data in the cloud means you and your authorized employees can view these data types 24/7 from any devices with an Internet connection, and with automatic data backup, even if something goes wrong during an update or your computer suddenly crashes, your data wouldn’t be lost or damaged. The data your practice needs is easily and always right at your fingertips when it’s in the cloud.

A cloud-based system saves you time and money.

We all know time is money, and using a cloud-based system saves you both. It’s a win-win for your practice. You spend less time dealing with IT issues and less money trying to fix those issues because this system requires less software and hardware. A cloud-based system also saves you time thanks to that team of dedicated IT experts monitoring and managing your hardware and software every day. If there’s a problem, it quickly gets fixed. Many times problems are fixed even before you know a problem exists. It also prevents you from having to deal with the time-consuming hassles of performing manual updates and backups.

The cloud is this year’s technology buzzword, but unlike some from the past, it’s not going away anytime soon. It’s here to stay because it provides numerous benefits to the companies that use it. So while you may not currently use the cloud with your dental practice, you can take our word that the switch is going to happen—and soon. In fact, dental practice management software manufacturers are banking on practices having to move to the cloud this year or in the very near future.