Over the past decade, the arguments for cloud technology shifted from early adoption to increasingly necessary. As the offerings from cloud providers become more sophisticated, the arguments for moving away from traditional server-based storage become simpler.
We look at five reasons why cloud technologies are the right reason for your business.
1. A Cost-Effective Solution
Businesses look long and hard at any capital investment. Switching from server-based storage to the cloud is cost-effective in reducing that investment requirement from a cash perspective and man-hours.
Cloud technologies offer businesses access to the latest editions of applications and services but don’t necessarily require upgrades of infrastructure or ongoing servicing costs.
One simple ‘rental’ payment for access to cloud services brings a business up-to-date with the cloud provider taking a lot of the strain of installation.
No need for an expensive army of consultants situated on site for months at a time or temporary staff covering your employees while a company-wide ERP is rolled out; customer services in the cloud will, in most cases, get a user up-and-running far quicker.
It isn’t just for the multinationals either. Small business benefit too; anything which cuts the level of IT start-up costs is an idea to welcome. Pricing is significantly varied and tailored to your requirements.
2. Security Matters
The increasing use of ransomware attacks for extortion is a reminder that businesses can never let their guard down as far as cybersecurity is concerned. Using cloud technologies alleviates some of that burden.
You can never be entirely off-the-hook for security responsibilities but knowing the company records are behind further levels of protection is a comfort. Knowing that the protection offered is continually updated and advanced by the service provider eases the pressure of another IT issue.
A business must take a leap of faith in some respects. Placing your trust in a third party to provide protection for your biggest company asset – information – takes some getting used to but the cloud is built on trust; it’s an industry where reputation is all.
3. Go Paperless
The joke goes that a paperless office generates more paperwork than a business previously saw. A seemingly never-ending supply of reports, analysis and emails are queued to printers, all bearing the unintentionally ironic request to think of the environment before printing. It’s never given a second thought.
The cloud is the ideal platform for electronic invoicing and other paperwork. Archaic and convoluted business processes and spreadsheets are consigned to the electronic wastebasket, with leaner more user-friendly reporting in place. Real-time information from the source.
Questions about numbers in reports are reduced; the recipient of the report can drill-down through the figures to the source document in a matter of minutes. It’s an efficiency few businesses can do without.
4. It’s Collaborative
Remote workers are frequently required to make decisions half-blind. Unless they have a quick internet connection, the daily synchronisation between their laptop and the server for all software to be updated.
Not with cloud technologies. Accounting software, CRM; everything is accessed in real-time with the same control over access as office-based technology. The same privacy restrictions are put in place for sensitive information as before.
The cloud offers a secure and reliable infrastructure for office-based and remote workers. Input comes at the moment your business needs it; in real-time.
5. A Brave New World
Product development in IT is driven by scale. When the sales rep or business development manager of a software company previously called, more often than not he left disappointed. With the cloud, the pain of upgrading is gone. Businesses can take advantage of the latest advances made in the world of software to their own benefit.
The absence of requiring focus to be placed on the IT infrastructure, time is freed for more innovation in product development. Cost reductions allow new products to be brought to market quicker than before.
While service industries expect those saving, it’s the manufacturing heartlands where the real benefits are seen. Having access to the highly-flexible cloud offers the ideal environment for experimentation in finding business efficiencies.
It fosters an entrepreneurial spirit because of its cost-effectiveness.