It's fair to say that every business, from micro to massive, relies on the collection, organization and dissemination of information. It's also fair to say that the evolution of digital IT is a double-edged sword. One edge permits greater efficiency in workflow processes and data storage. The other edge cuts deep with mechanical failures, constant upgrades, and data silos. Fortunately, innovations in web-based computing demonstrate that the revolution in business IT offers exciting solutions to old, vexing IT problems. Is your business ready moderize by moving to the cloud?
Infrastructure for Less
In-house hosting of your enterprise applications meant significant capital outlay. Once established, it had to be constantly maintained. The advent of newer, more efficient infrastructure could mean another large hit on the budget. By migrating to the cloud, those costs decline, and you no longer spend IT resources on in-house infrastructure maintenance. Because datacenters and cloud IT providers serve many clients, the infrastructure cost to each customer is low. If releasing your closely-held data to the public cloud gives you the shivers, rest assured, you can host your own private cloud, as well. You won’t save on infrastructure costs, but you can receive the benefits of cloud computing while sitting right on top of your data.
The Unplugged Advantage
One of the best features of cloud computing is the ability to access your documents from any internet-connected device. You and your employees truly enjoy the ability to walk away from the desk and remain productive at home or in the field. With cloud services, your team is no longer relegated to verbal communications by email when out of the office or plant. You can create, save and store documents on mobile devices just as you would at your headquarters.
Building documents by committee was made much easier with file sharing software, but managing the multitude of versions could easily get out of hand. Cloud-based software eliminates the need to download, modify and store for upload, the process where confusion could set in. Accessing from the cloud means you’re always editing the latest version without the distractions of downloading and saving then uploading again. Your team simply opens, changes and saves the updated document.
Hand-held digital assistants were all the rage 10-15 years ago. They enabled employees to edit their calendars on a desktop application and synchronize them to their minicomputer. But that process required a direct connection to the desktop unit. Cloud-based calendars let a base operator or the main user edit the calendar, and the new data automatically updates within seconds no matter the location of the user.
An all-encompassing software-as-a-service (SaaS) package should incorporate a tool such as Skype to facilitate meetings without physically gathering together. The company savings in travel costs alone could well pay for the subscription price of the service.
Unlimited Storage and Easy Backup/Restoration
With cloud computing, you have no limits on the amount of data you need to store. Plus data backup is automated and non-disruptive. With data securely distributed, recovery in the event of a disaster takes very little time, if any at all.
More Security for Less
One of the concerns of IT leaders is that perhaps their data will be vulnerable in the cloud. But almost all data breaches of cloud systems have been the result of employee error, not outside hackers. Since cloud IT services depend on keeping your data safe, their programs and applications are created with strong encryption protocols from end to end. Your customized SaaS can offer many safeguards against unwise employee activity that would otherwise give cyber crooks an opening. Also, cloud IT support utilizes teams of cybersecurity experts on your behalf.
SMBs are dynamic enterprises that can grow rapidly. The cloud eliminates IT growing pains. Because subscriptions to SaaS are designed so that you only pay for what you need, your organization never expends for more than you can use in anticipation of growth. Nor do you suffer an IT infrastructure unable to handle rapid expansion.
With cost savings, mobility, security and easy collaboration underpinning cloud-based business IT, remaining a light and nimble competitor will likely require the move at some point. The sooner you move to the cloud, the sooner you can reap the benefits.