There’s a good reason that the media is obsessed with Cloud technologies – the next generation of computing has the potential to make or break your business. But don’t write this off as melodramatic headline scaremongering – the Cloud is significantly changing the way that businesses do business, offering previously unthinkable strategic advantages.
1. If you don't, your competitors will
From increased operational flexibility to reduced software costs, the Cloud offers a broad range of benefits that are irresistible to businesses who want to boost their profit margins. And for the forward-thinking entrepreneur, these advantages are a no-brainer.
Whether trying to compete with the enterprise-class big boys, or steal a march on smaller competitors, the Cloud is a great leveller of playing fields. Subscription-based models allow businesses access to scalable software that would be prohibitively expensive if installed on site – a benefit that has been unhelpfully lumbered with the moniker ‘democratisation’.
Equipped with a flexible, pay-as-you use licensing framework and access to leading edge tools, Cloud adopters will use the associated advantages to crush their competitors – including you.
2. It’s a great way to attract the brightest new talent
The millennial workforce is changing the way that organisations do business, due in a large part to the way in which these individuals blend personal and private lives almost seamlessly. As a result, much of the younger workforce favours employers who use technology to assist with achieving this integration.
Similarly millennials expect to be able to work in ways that maximise their abilities, rather than to conform to rigid ways of operating. Allowing employees to work using their own laptops/tablets/smartphones (also known as Bring Your Own Device – BYOD) is proven to boost productivity, but it’s also a key consideration for employees choosing a job – 39% of UK employees would leave if their business did not support BYOD.
Access to productivity tools like Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 has the potential to help you and your employees stay effective at all times. And being able to offer any place, any time, any device access to business data allows you to build a flexible workforce – the kind that can adapt to any challenge or opportunity profitably.
Obviously you could always build your own remotely accessible systems, at great cost. The Cloud makes it much easier to offer and implement a remote access system without all the usual technical overheads. Which is why in the age of the mobile workforce, your competitors are jumping into the Cloud.
3. Cost-effective growth
The more your business grows, the more resources you will need – including people - all of which comes at a cost.
The Cloud allows you to spread these costs, switching from capital expenditure to operational expenditure. Take on another employee (or three)? Simply increase your Cloud subscription and they are ready to become productive immediately.
Adding new licenses to your Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 subscription is as simple as calling Kimbley IT and placing an order. The new accounts will be available for use in a matter of minutes – definitely less time than it takes to go through the employment contract, conduct an office tour, and show the new employee how the coffee machine works!
And when employees leave, using Cloud subscriptions means that you’re not left with a pile of expensive assets that cannot be easily disposed of. You simply cancel the relevant subscription, immediately benefiting from the cash saving.
Cloud now or be too late
Taken on their own, each of these benefits is quite compelling. As a package, it is easy to see the importance of adopting Cloud technologies – because if you don't, your competitors will. And by the time you realise your mistake, it might be too late.