How can your business benefit from the cloud?

One of the many things that we have in common as business owners is a shortage of time. As a result, we’re constantly looking for new ways to run our business more cost-effectively. One commonly cited area of our businesses that tends to take up a lot of our time is Information Technology (IT) – whether it’s our own legacy systems or those of outsourced service vendors – they always seem to create one headache or another, draining precious time, money, and resources.

 

Clearly all of us need technology to run our business effectively. Luckily, there’s a shift happening in the technology industry that can eliminate many of the IT headaches that we experience every day, transform what is traditionally an operational area of our businesses into a competitive advantage, and potentially generate entirely new revenue streams for each of us.

Cost Savings

If you are worried about the price tag that would come with making the switch over to the cloud computing, you aren’t alone; 20 percent of organizations are concerned about the initial cost of implementing a cloud-based strategy. But those who are attempting to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud need to consider more factors than just price; they need to consider their Return on investment (ROI).

Security

One major hang up that many organizations have when it comes to adopting a cloud computing strategy is the issue of security. After all, when files, programs, and other data aren’t kept securely on site, how can you know that they are being protected? For one thing, a cloud host’s full-time job should be to carefully monitor security, which is significantly more efficient than a conventional in-house system, where an organization must divide its efforts between a myriad of IT concerns, with security being only one of them. Even less so for solopreneurs and very small businesses.

Flexibility

Your business has only a finite amount of focus to divide between all its responsibilities. If your current IT solutions are forcing you to commit too much of your attention to computer and data-storage issues, then you aren’t going to be able to concentrate on reaching business goals and satisfying customers. On the other hand, by relying on an outside organization such as NexGen, Mobile, Security, & Cloud! to take care of all IT hosting and infrastructure, you’ll have more time to devote towards the aspects of your business that directly affect your goals.

Mobility

Cloud computing allows mobile access to your company data via smartphones, tablets, and laptops, which, considering over 3 billion smartphones are being used globally today, is a great way to ensure no one in your company is ever left out of the loop.

Insight

As we move ever further into the digital age, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the adage ‘Knowledge is power’ has taken on the more modern and accurate form: ‘Data is money.’ Hidden within the millions of bits of data that surround your customer transactions and business processes are nuggets of invaluable, actionable information just waiting to be identified and acted upon. Of course, sifting through that data to find these kernels can be very difficult unless you have the right cloud computing solutions.

Increased collaboration

If your business has two employees or more, work with vendors or freelancers, then you should be making collaboration a top priority. After all, there isn’t much point to having a team if it is unable to work like a team. Cloud computing makes collaboration a simple process. Team members van view and share information easily and securely across a cloud-based platform. Let’s be honest, collaboration may be possible without a cloud computing strategy, but it will never be as easy or as effective.

 

Quality Control

There are a few things as detrimental to the success of a business as poor-quality and inconsistent reporting. In a cloud-based system, all documents are stored in one place and in a single format. With everyone accessing the same information, you can maintain consistency in date, avoid human error, and have a clear record of any revisions or updates.

 

Disaster recovery

One of the factors that contributes to the success of a business is control. Unfortunately, no matter how in control your organization may be when it comes to its own process, there will always be scenarios completely out of your control, and in today’s market, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can have a resounding negative effect. Downtime in your services leads to lost productivity, revenue, and brand reputation. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios from ransomware attacks, natural disasters, and power outages.

 

Loss prevention

If your organization isn’t investing in a cloud-based computing solution, then all your valuable data is inseparably tied to the office computer it resides on. This may not seem like a problem, but the reality is that if your local hardware experiences a problem, you might end permanently losing your data. This is a more common problem than you might realize; computers can malfunction for many reasons, from viral infections and age-related hardware deterioration to simple user error. If you aren’t in the cloud, you are at risk of losing all the information you have saved locally to your computers.

 

Automatic software updates

For those who have a lot to get done running their business, there isn’t anything more irritating than having to wait for a system update to be installed. Cloud-based applications automatically refresh and update themselves, instead of forcing an IT department or the IT go-to person to perform a manual company-wide update. This saves valuable staff time and money being used efficiently.

 

Competitive edge

While cloud computing is increasing in popularity, there are still those who prefer to keep everything on their local computer. That’s their choice but doing so places them at a distinct disadvantage when competing with those who have the benefits of the cloud at their fingertips. If you implement a cloud-based strategy before your competitors, you’ll be farther along the learning curve by the time they attempt to catch up.

 

Sustainability

Given the current state of the environment, it’s no longer enough for organizations to place a recycling bin in the break room and claim that they’re doing their part to help the planet. Real sustainability requires solutions that address wastefulness at every level of a business. Hosting your business processes in the cloud is more environmentally friendly, and results in less of a carbon footprint.

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