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How to Use the Cloud to Streamline Your Business Processes

You’ve probably heard all about the cloud and how it can transform your business. However, do you really know what providers mean when they say this? The digital transformation journey is taking every industry by storm, but until you’ve started to explore it in more detail, it’s hard to know what it really means. The cloud can bring your business many benefits, the main one being improving your processes. While there are plenty of technical connotations too, you should be concerned with the advantages it brings to your business, and the ones you can pass onto your end users or customers. So, here are the top ways you can use the cloud to improve and streamline your business.

Improve efficiency

With the cloud, you can cut down on a number of time-wasting situations, and therefore improve how efficient your processes are, and how efficient your employees are. By choosing a cloud platform, you’re letting another provider handle all of your IT, therefore freeing up your time to add more value to your business. This enables all your teams to act more efficiently, as you’re not worrying about running new updates or checking how your IT is working. Likewise, all of your employees can access data from one single place: there’s no wasting time over finding different locations and worrying about how to transfer or integrate data.

 

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The cloud also opens up a multitude of new software opportunities. There are many more applications available on the cloud, so if you’re having issues with certain elements of your business, you’ll be able to find an app that can improve it. Plus, with automated features, you won’t need to spend valuable time on tasks that can be done automatically.

You also won’t need to spend time worrying about your IT going down, or needing to run updates on every single computer. If an employee’s device breaks or crashes, you can simply replace it and download all the data and applications back onto it, instead of waiting around for new software to be added – or dealing with the consequences of losing data stored on a single device.

Reduce time-to-market

One of the biggest ways that the cloud can streamline your business is by improving your time-to-market. With the cloud, you can access and analyze data much faster than when stored on physical machines. Everyone has access to the same single point of truth, so there’s no mistakes or crossed wires.

With the cloud, you don’t need to spend time or money on acquiring new programs or hardware. You’ve got everything you need to roll out new business models, services or products instantly. Plus, it lets you maintain a constant environment of research, testing and development, ensuring that you can create and innovate without the high costs. With a pay-per-use model, you only need to pay for what you’re using, freeing you up to add value.

Not only do you have the environment to create more, but you have the time too. You don’t need to spend your day working on your IT or running updates. You can spend your time wisely, and coming up with new ways to add value to the business or to your customers.

Likewise, you can use software to link various applications, so you can speed up processes. Using, for example, NetSuite integrations for Salesforce CRM, allows you to convert orders in Salesforce into cash in NetSuite. Depending on what platforms you use, there are various different ways you can do this.

Improve productivity

According to a recent study, using cloud can improve your employees’ productivity by 400 percent. This astronomical figure is due to a number of things. Firstly, employees can bring in their own device. This type of strategy – bring your own device (BYOD) – means everyone can work in the way that suits them best. It also means you can save money on providing high-quality devices!

In addition, the cloud enables your workforce to be more connected. From messaging apps to internet calls, there are numerous cloud applications that allow your teams to work together, regardless of where they are. They will all be using the same database too: there are no lengthy delays waiting for data to synchronize across teams.

You’re not alone if you’re using the cloud to improve productivity: 59 percent of businesses that do so are likely to see their productivity increase.

Plus, employees will have access to better IT: they won’t have to worry about crashes or delays, as the cloud system ensures that there’s enough capacity to handle any demand. So, as your employees have more work to do, there’s more computing power to enable them to keep up with demand.

Reduce costs

One of the biggest changes you’ll notice is costs. You can reduce your costs, giving you more freedom to streamline your business. With no upfront fees or costs of buying equipment, you can move faster and add efficiency. Depending on the model you use, you’ll also be able to save money with consumption-based pricing. With this way of paying costs, you can pay more when you need to use more, but then scale it back when you don’t need to use it anymore. You’ll have much more freedom with cloud budgets, meaning that your business can benefit in the long term.

The other way that the cloud can streamline your business’s budget, is through who you use. With the cloud, you don’t need to pay for expensive support services or in-house experts. Instead, your service provider will keep you up to date with any and all changes and updates as part of your package. Likewise, you won’t need to keep paying for new hardware and software updates, as technology gets more advanced. The cloud is agile, and changes as the world of tech does, so you’ll never miss out on new opportunities, as your IT will always be compatible and able to work alongside innovative services and applications.

Improve security

Not only can the cloud streamline your security processes, but it also streamlines your disaster recovery processes. Firstly, employees can set up better security, thanks to two-factor authentication login. Then, if data is lost, it won’t be gone forever: nearly all cloud providers include automatic back-up, so it’s just a case of downloading everything that was lost. Likewise, your provider will be storing and protecting your data in a more robust, advanced way than you ever could – they’re experts in this field, and know exactly how to manage data.

The Benefits of Migrating to a Full Scale Cloud Computing Environment

Whether you are thinking about embracing a portion of cloud computing for your IT needs or you are thinking about using it exclusively for all of the IT aspects of your business, you should first take a look at how much your company can benefit from cloud computing. The following is an overview.

Cloud computing reduces IT costs
So much of what an IT staff is responsible for is transferred to a cloud hosting provider. At the top of the list is backing up all data files. This is a time consuming process. In addition to this, there is the savings on IT staff troubling shooting problems with software and hardware, especially the servers. With cloud computing, there are no servers to maintain. When it is time to upgrade a server, it is done by the cloud computing provider at their end. There is nothing for an IT staff to do. For this reason, migrating to cloud computing means a reduction in the labor costs associated with maintaining the hardware for your company.

It reduces downtime
Cloud computing providers have redundancy built into their system. Nothing short of the end of the world is going to shut your business down. However, the more files that you have stored on your local servers, the greater the chances are that you could suffer a catastrophic failure that is brought on by a natural disaster, fire, flood or any other type of large scale event that can shut your business down and make recovery difficult. With a cloud computing system, all of your files and programs are in a distant location. All you need is access to the internet, and you will be able to access all of your company’s files and software.

It helps reduce the time to market of new products
By having all of your files and programs in the clouds, so to speak, you will be able to give access to some or all of the files across departments, and do so regardless of where they are located. Some companies have more than one location, but engineers, working on a new or revised design of an existing product, can share what they are doing with marketing departments, quality control staff and other people involved in bringing a product to market from concept to distribution. This type of collaborative approach is best done with cloud computing. The result will be avoiding mistakes that cause delays in bringing the product to market. Reduced time to market means a smaller time frame for your company’s return on investment.

 

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Cloud computing increases productivity


There are many ways that this is achieved. First and foremost is a team that needs to share files, but they are at different locations. With cloud computing, you can connect to the cloud server by way of the internet, and this can be done on any device that can connect to the internet. Even better, this can be done anywhere in the world. Although this is possible to do with a local server, the logistics behind it are more complex, and therefore, more difficult for your employees to work with. When project teams work together in a cloud computing environment, they are better able to produce high quality work and in less time. Cloud computing is a great asset for field sales, where your sales people can have real time data on everything that relates to selling your product. This alone will increase your revenue.

Whether your business is reducing costs or increasing productivity, your business will realize a return on investment from migrating to cloud computing that will be seen as an increase in your company’s profits. There are well documented numbers for the increases in various areas of a company’s operation that clearly show the benefits of cloud computing are real. Even so, many businesses are hesitant to make the plunge, but you don’t have to. You can slowly migrate a little at a time, and see for yourself how the entire process will work for your specific business. The one thing that you will need is cloud computing software, and your employees will need to be trained on how to use it. There are, however, businesses that offer training services for various software packages. One example of this would be Guru Solutions. Take your time, and decide what the first step for your company should be.