In order to maximize profitability, all businesses need to be as efficient as possible.
From customer service to day-to-day administration, streamlining is a way of achieving this, and many companies are realizing that cloud systems offer this in spades.
What is a cloud system?
A cloud system is where computing is carried out by means of the internet rather than a piece of software downloaded to the hard drive of a computer.
With the latter kind of setup, often only one person is able to access the software at any given time, whereas with cloud systems, multiple users can be on the platform simultaneously.
Experts, such as the CEO of cloud provider Infor, Charles Phillips, certainly believe that cloud systems are better for online businesses, and they are certainly becoming the method of choice for many.
Phillips, former president of computer firm Oracle, has switched his focus almost exclusively to the cloud, with his company helping businesses to move their current administrative systems from on-premises licensed software to the cloud.
What are the benefits to business of cloud systems?
The first major benefit is in the cost. When a business uses a cloud computing system, there are no expensive hardware costs, such as the purchase of new computers or the need to have them installed. All that is needed is a stable and adequate internet connection. Also, because the cloud system is provided by a separate company, your IT support no longer needs to be in-house, thereby cutting down on the cost of employing technical staff. It has been estimated that switching to a cloud-based computing system can reduce your IT budget by up to 80% and save you up to 90% on energy bills.
The next benefit is the flexibility that a cloud system offers. As already mentioned, a cloud platform is available to as many members of staff that need to work on it, and therefore offers collaboration between colleagues should it be needed. Being internet-based also means that staff do not need to be in the same office, but can be mobile as the cloud system can be accessed from any mobile device where there is a good wireless signal.
Tied in with both flexibility and cost savings is the fact that cloud-based systems can be scaled down if a business enters a period of financial difficulty, or scaled up if the demand arises. An in-house computing system does not offer this, as it has already incurred a significant initial cost in the purchase and installation, and inevitably requires costly ongoing maintenance.
This flexibility in use has the knock-on effect of making employees more available when it comes to actual work being carried out. Commuting to the office suddenly becomes unnecessary, thereby cutting down on travel costs and time. Those companies that have field-based staff will find that processes are speeded up, as the field staff use their own mobile devices to update their activity much more quickly and efficiently than if they had to hand over their information to an office-based colleague.
Another important aspect of cloud systems is the security that they offer. Because all data is stored in the cloud, theft of hardware does not threaten the company’s data. Conversely, a lost mobile device does not mean that a staff member is locked out of their company’s computer system.
Working in the cloud offers a multitude of benefits to online businesses, in terms of manageable costs, increased flexibility, and greater protection, so it is no surprise that more and more companies are choosing to move their administrative needs to cloud-based systems.