Back in the early days, there was a fair bit of skepticism surrounding cloud-based veterinary software. Any new technology carries a certain level of uncertainty, and many veterinary practices were understandably hesitant to abandon their tried-and-true methods in favor of some newfangled cloud contraption.
Fast forward to today, and all the concerns and misconceptions about the cloud have been put to rest. Well, almost all of them. Despite the tens of thousands of animal hospitals that have transformed their processes with the cloud, there are still a few misconceptions floating around that deter some veterinary practices from making the leap into the cloud.
Let’s change that. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of the most common myths about cloud veterinary software and explain why they’re simply not true.
Myth #1: Cloud-based vet software is not secure
One of the biggest misconceptions about cloud-based software is that it isn’t secure. At first glance, it might look like there’s some substance to this claim - after all, it seems reasonable to assume that your data would be more vulnerable in some far-flung data center than it would be on your own servers stored in the safety of your clinic.
In reality, on-premises solutions are usually less secure than cloud-based solutions. That’s not a knock on you, your staff, or your tech savvy. Cybersecurity is complex and most veterinary clinics simply do not have the resources to implement and maintain the systems needed to protect their data from today’s sophisticated cyberthreats.
Cloud software providers, on the other hand, do. They have the infrastructure, technology, and specialist expertise to mitigate the latest cyberthreats, along with purpose-built facilities and security controls - such as biometric scans, surveillance teams, and intrusion detection systems - to limit physical access to your data.
Leveraging the cloud allows you to tap into the same security technologies used by some of the world’s most security-conscious organizations, including banks, government agencies, hospitals, and more.
Myth #2: Cloud veterinary software is expensive
Many people believe that cloud veterinary software is more expensive than traditional on-premises software. This belief stems from the fact that cloud-based practice management software comes with a monthly subscription fee, whereas on-premises solutions typically charge a one-time license fee.
But how do the numbers really stack up? While it’s true that cloud-based veterinary software is sold on a subscription basis, it also eliminates the up-front costs associated with purchasing and deploying local hardware, as well as the ongoing costs involved with keeping the system maintained and up to date. As a result, cloud-based software tends to be much more cost-effective than on-premise solutions in both the short- and long-term.
Cost isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to choosing a practice management system. But the cloud’s ability to save you money while delivering superior functionality and an overall better user experience makes for a pretty compelling argument.
Myth #3: The cloud is unreliable
The reliability of the cloud is sometimes called into question over concerns about power outages and hardware failure. Is there any truth to these claims?
In a word: No. In fact, the cloud tends to be more reliable than locally based systems. Cloud data centers are often housed in climate-controlled facilities and located in regions that have been carefully selected for their environmental and geographic stability, which helps mitigate environmental risks such as flooding, volcanic eruptions, seismic activity, and extreme weather events.
Additionally, cloud redundancy ensures that there’s a backup plan for any individual failure in the cloud environment. Data centers are often equipped with a backup power supply to minimize the risk of downtime in the event of electrical failure, along with automated systems to prevent fire, smoke, and water damage. Meanwhile, the data itself is regularly duplicated, backed up, and stored on multiple servers (often located in different regions), and overseen by a team of experts dedicated to maintaining the system and responding to issues as they arise.
If any component in a cloud vendor’s infrastructure fails, you’ll still be able to use their services with no interruption. Technically, a similar level of redundancy can be achieved with a locally based practice management system. However, the cost, time, and expertise needed to maintain such a system make it infeasible for the vast majority of veterinary businesses.
Myth #4: Cloud-based software is difficult to use
The idea that cloud-based veterinary software is difficult to use is a myth. Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, just as there is with the adoption of any new system. But a big chunk of this learning curve can be attributed to the fact that cloud-based veterinary solutions simply provide substantially more features than locally based systems - and coming to grips with all these features naturally takes some time.
To minimize the teething period, cloud-based veterinary solutions are designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, helping new users to pick up the software and hit the ground running. ezyVet also includes comprehensive documentation that provides step-by-step instructions covering every aspect of the product, while 24/7 phone-based support ensures expert help is always just a phone call away.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to learn the ins and outs of every single feature if you don’t need to. Everyone’s requirements are different and it’s perfectly okay to only use a small subset of a product’s features if that’s all you need right now. But as your practice grows and your requirements change, you’ll be relieved to know those features are sitting there waiting to be discovered. That’s part of the magic of a cloud-based system - it grows with you.
Myth #5: All cloud-based software providers can connect with any third-party solution
Some cloud-based practice management solutions can be integrated with third-party software, giving you the freedom to create a bespoke system tailored to your clinic’s unique requirements.
That’s all true. What isn’t true is that all cloud-based practice management solutions offer the same breadth of integrations.
Whereas some products can connect to a wide range of third-party software - including product suppliers, payment providers, diagnostics laboratories, and so on - others are only compatible with a handful of tools.
Depending on your current needs, integration compatibility might not be a key consideration for you in the here and now. However, it’s important to be mindful of your future software needs and consider how third-party connectivity (or lack thereof) might impact your ability to achieve your business goals in the years ahead.
Myth #6: Cloud vet software is only for big hospitals
Last but not least, one of the most persistent myths is that the cloud is only suitable for big animal hospitals.
In reality, veterinary practices of all sizes can benefit tremendously from transitioning to the cloud. In a one-person mobile clinic, for example, the value of the cloud might revolve around being able to remotely access patient records, sync field notes, and automatically charge for billable products and services. At the other end of the scale, corporates and multi-site practices can leverage the cloud to standardize workflows, integrate with their existing diagnostics providers, and track clinic performance.
Separating fact from fiction is sometimes easier said than done when you’re navigating new technology. By busting some of the most pervasive myths surrounding the cloud, you’ll be better equipped to make a more informed decision when shopping around for a new practice management system.
Ready to learn more? Book an ezyVet demo today and discover what the cloud could do for you!