Have you ever seen Star Trek? They used futuristic technology in every episode, some of which is now weirdly becoming part of our everyday lives today like the voice activated computer… Alexa!
All of this technology we use needs a platform to run on and a place for it’s data to be held, this is most likely going to be on ‘The Cloud’.
For businesses, implementing technology to remove processes can improve profitability and also gives it a competitive edge in the marketplace, this could be something as simple as a mobile app to remove friction in a sales process.
Now let’s take a look at the benefits of using the Cloud:
1. Business Continuity
IT systems and the data used on them are normally critical in the day to day operation of the business. In the event of systems going down, or downtime, the company needs a way to minimise the amount of time staff aren’t able to carry out their revenue making activities.
This is usually done by having a continuity plan, which often includes the use of cloud based products. This removes the risk of an on-site (local) disaster and puts the business operations on a more robust platform with built in failover meaning no downtime, failover is when a system goes down it migrates to new hardware with little or no human effort.
A few cloud products that help with this are:
Online applications for easier collaboration
Cloud Backup solutions to help protect against data loss
Remote desktops for using a device from another location
Virtual private networks (VPN) for security
All of the above are great for the current working environment and should be implemented if you have staff working from home or transitioning to working from home, speak with your IT support provider for more information.
2. Flexibility and Scalability
This is one of the best things about the cloud as you pay for what you use. For example; in days gone by you would have to buy a server for housing any applications you would use, like sage, SQL or Oracle and the data from these applications would have to be backed up to either tape or hard drives.
This would be a huge upfront expense with on going maintenance fees and a salary for the IT staff to maintain the equipment. Nowadays, the hardware is purchased by third parties, staff are employed by them and they charge you a fraction of what you used to pay to do the same job, this is mostly paid for monthly which is better for cash flow.
You can take what you need, scale up when you need more, then down when the requirement drops leaving the business more profitable without the risk of you having an expensive lump of metal in your office when the economic outlook changes.
3. Employee Happiness
In a business, employee happiness is key to productivity, you could say they go hand in hand. If your staff are finding it hard to motivate themselves you will need to implement something to help them get back in to the groove.
If you are working from home, it may mean more interactive schedules where teams work together throughout their day. Cloud computing is essential to allow this, you could use a mix of VPN’s, remote desktops or online applications to enable your team to be more productive at home.
As long as you have an internet connection you can work from anywhere, a good work / life balance can result in business growth and ‘The Cloud’ can enable that.
4. Team Collaboration
It’s now easier than ever to find an application that helps national and global teams collaborate on projects. By sharing your vision through video conference or a file through Onedrive, you can achieve much more in a shorter time frame by utilising ‘The Cloud’.
Microsoft Teams for instance ticks all of these boxes by providing calendars, file sharing, meeting software, chat and instant messaging, geographically unrestricted and value for money.
We are already able to work globally with the technology currently available and working from home will become the new norm, so take advantage of the cloud now and future proof your business.