In recent years digital transformation has gained trend-like status.
Everywhere you look, companies are doing away with traditional technology, swapping desktops for laptops and docking stations and hard drives for cloud storage with the aim of driving efficiency and productivity.
Also, as the way we work continues to evolve, businesses have felt pressure to adapt accordingly, lest they become obsolete and unappealing to top talent.
So, it’s no surprise that research by IDC revealed that today as much as 90% of businesses use some form of cloud technology.
Cloud-based tech has become a key driver in business operations worldwide. With this, views are shifting from it being optional to essential for success.
This explains why Forbes has predicted that the cloud computing services industry will be worth a staggering $164 billion by 2021.
And so leading on from this, we’ll be diving into some of the benefits you can look forward to when you migrate your business to the cloud.
Let’s get right into it…
Psssstttt … If you’re not well versed on the in and outs of cloud technology might and find yourself asking ‘What on earth is cloud computing?’, don’t fret.
Here’s a great breakdown by Microsoft to get you up to speed. Feel free to have a read, then pick up where you left of here.
Build a Culture of Collaboration
Cloud technology is no newbie. Well-known SaaS providers like Skype for Business, Microsoft 365, Amazon Web Services, Citrix, and Slack have become office staples and are considered mission-critical for many.
Cloud-based technology tools like these are designed to facilitate teamwork.
So, adopting them makes working together painless and ingrains collaboration into your company culture. This, in turn, can have great knock-on-effects such as boost the efficiency of your business operations and increase productivity, which can have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line.
Cloud technology services offer also benefits like:
- Real-time communication and collaboration on projects
- Storage and downloading of documents both big and small
- 360° view of business intelligence, workflows, and production
- Facilitation of smart meetings
- Increased team participation and productivity
- Easy data sharing and reporting
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why some businesses have taken things a step further by replacing their multi-vendor, cloud-based tools for a single platform such as Microsoft Teams which is predicted to have 13 million active daily users by the end of 2020.
In short, migrating your business to the cloud can drive positive changes in your business that you don’t want to miss out on like increasing and teamwork. awareness, and transparency.
Facilitate remote working to improve employee happiness and productivity
As we touched on earlier, the way we work is changing at an astounding rate. Companies continue to adapt to the evolving needs and wants of their workforce, such as millennial employees who prioritize job satisfaction and freedom to ensure they continue to attract the best people.
Whilst this change hasn’t been frictionless for many businesses, incentives like flexible hours and remote working are fast becoming the norm. In fact, currently, as much as 70% of people worldwide work remotely at least once a week.
So, to ensure this transition is a success, its essential businesses equip their employees with the tools they need to work from anywhere; whether that’s all suited up in a client’s office or at home with their PJ bottoms on (smart casual from the waist up for their 2pm video conference call, of course).
And, this is where cloud-based technology really shines.
It’ll allow your team to get set up and begin working quickly, regardless of their location. Consequently, this will improve your company’s efficiency by reducing setup downtime whilst providing employees with the flexibility they seek.
This change could also trigger an upward tick in employee happiness and your company’s productivity due to employees being able to work from locations and at times that best suit them.
Build an Agile Business
Another great thing about embracing cloud technology is that it’ll give you the agility needed to handle unexpected events. Disasters that once could halt operations and expose your company to financial losses will become less of a threat.
For instance, say you have a meeting scheduled with your colleague in your office at 10am next Tuesday. You’ll be drafting a proposal for a potential client and are working on a tight deadline.
Then, early Tuesday morning disaster strikes. You discover that your office is closed due to flooding. Without tools that facilitate remote working – panic is sure to set in. After all, the project is time-sensitive and you have no way to get the work done.
But if you have cloud-based tools Like Google Drive and Zoom – it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience as you’ll have everything you need to create the proposal together remotely. Google Drive will allow you to edit documents live with multiple users whilst Zoom will enable you to host video meetings in which you can share your screen.
No money or time lost. Handy right?!
Slash Those Expenses
Data centers aren’t cheap. Nor are the engineers, security, and facilities enlisted to manage and protect them. In fact, shelling out six figures year to keep one isn’t uncommon.
Tally this against the affordable subscription fees and low to non-existent installation costs of cloud-based cloud services and the business case for making the switch is instantly strengthened from a financial standpoint alone.
For instance, Microsoft 365 subscriptions start from just £3.80 per month (excluding VAT).
Considering this, adopting cloud technology becomes a very logical step.
Minimize the Impact of Tech Failures
Do you ever worry that an IT issue could bring your business to a screeching (and expensive) halt? Well, if you do, you’re not alone.
Research by Information Week revealed that businesses rack up losses of $265 billion globally each year due to tech wipe-outs.
IT downtime is not only costly in the monetary sense, but it can also be damaging to your company’s reputation and cause your clients to question whether you can be trusted to be their supplier.
Yet luckily, cloud-hosted software solutions come to the rescue by eliminating the loss of access to important information and applications should hardware be faulty, misplaced, or compromised.
This is thanks to the network of virtual servers that hold files and deliver them through a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure, Google Drive, and Dropbox, making server-related catastrophes a thing of the past.
Scalable Cloud technology Solutions that Grow with Your Business
Let’s imagine you run a rapid growth tech startup. As each month goes by, your requirements for tech services like storage, web hosting, and server space increase at an astronomical rate.
Now, if you’ve chosen more traditional methods for obtaining these solutions like purchasing a physical server, you’d need to order more than you require to avoid getting caught out by your unpredictable bursts of growth.
Consequently, you’ll be in for a hefty bill from your data center come month-end, whether you’ve used these services to their maximum capacity or not.
Also, the time spent researching and sourcing these products instead of working on income-producing activities would put a great dampener on your productivity, leaving you with a huge opportunity cost.
But, by adopting cloud technology, you could quickly tailor your subscription to match the natural ebbs and flows of your business.
For instance, if you tend to receive medium traffic volumes to your website on most days but are planning a one-off sale and so expecting increased traffic levels, you can temporarily adjust your tech bandwidth to ensure your business is equipped to handle the additional footfall.
Then, put your normal setting back in place once it is over.
Keep Your Data Safe. No, really…
A lack of security is often stated as the main concern in adopting cloud technology. And, given the shocking defeats companies big and small have endured in their attempts to keep their customer’s data safe, you’d be forgiven for having your reservations.
But, hear me out. Sometimes storing data in the cloud can be one of the safer options.
Well, when files and applications are hosted in the cloud, they can be deleted remotely if you detect suspicious activity. What’s more, cloud-based software companies dedicate significant amounts of their resources to updating their security measures to ward off cyber-attacks.
In fact, Microsoft revealed that it spends approximately $1 billion a year on optimizing its cloud security. Not a bad budget if you ask me!
So, you can see this as having an army of top-class cybersecurity professionals fighting in your corner 24/7 to keep your business and data safe and secure.
Cloud technology can transform a rigid, outdated, security-flawed business and transition it into a productive, efficient, and collaborative powerhouse that enables employees to transition from office-based to remote work and back again seamlessly, all while keeping your data safe.
Improving employee satisfaction is also something you can look forward to, which your numbers will thank you for as you’re rewarded with increased output and cost savings.
With all these benefits up for grabs, embarking on your very own digital transformation journey using cloud-based technology could be one of the benefits business decisions you ever make.
So why not give it a try?