A significant benefit of moving resources to the cloud and cloud ROI is the resulting gains in collaboration and efficiency. Any cloud based service is fundamentally created in order to offer the user access from any location and to share information quickly and easily.
A significant benefit of moving resources to the cloud and cloud ROI is the resulting gains in collaboration and efficiency. Any cloud based service is fundamentally created in order to offer the user access from any location and to share information quickly and easily. Easy access to services by any staff member then encourages discussion and collaboration which leads to better decision making and a more productive workforce.
Moving storage and services to the cloud results in significant productivity and business gains:
- Enabling mobile access. With the cloud, employees can access information from any internet-connected device, so they can pull files and data while on the road. This enables a more flexible workforce that can adapt quickly to problems and take advantage of sudden opportunities. It also can introduce cost savings by enabling work-from-home situations that reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive centralized offices.
- Collaboration is key. Tools that enable employees to collaborate in real time and share information help businesses to complete projects and bring new services to market more quickly. Decisions can also be aided by adding the context of members from multiple departments who can communicate through cloud-based tools regardless of geographic or other barriers. The benefits of improved collaboration can be specific to a project, or broader in terms of employee’s feeling their opinions are heard and valued.
- Improved processes. Various processes such as manufacturing, marketing, sales and purchasing can all be improved through collaborative cloud-based services. Sales teams can use such tools to chat about prospects, strategize in real time, and work collaboratively with product teams to offer important customer feedback. Cloud-based video conferencing and other communication tools provide users with context that simply cannot be matched via email.
Immediate and downstream financial gains also come from moving services to the cloud:
- Zero hardware requirements. Firms that move to the cloud can enjoy reduced capital costs due to the reduction in storage and related hardware. This money can be invested in other IT projects that drive revenue.
- Handling scale doesn’t come with added costs. If the needs of the business grow quickly, the economies of scale of the cloud mean manageable increases in costs. Businesses with on-premises solutions are not typically equipped to double or triple capacity at a moment’s notice if needed. Companies also pay less in times of lower demand, an especially important point for firms with cyclical revenue streams.
- Reduced electricity bills. Cloud enablement is all offsite, so there are no expensive bills to pay to run electricity for server rooms which require consistent temperatures and costly hardware. Companies no longer need to pay rent for physical server space.
- Staffing needs change. IT staff are needed to manage in-house storage, but these needs are significantly reduced after moving to the cloud. Qualified IT staff are costly, and reductions in staff can free up budget for new internal projects.
- Shorten time to market. Companies that want to be competitive and be the first to market need to utilize every possible advantage. Cloud services enable financial gains by providing the competitive edge that comes through productive and efficient collaboration.
Moving information and processes to the cloud holds the promise of both business and financial gains for companies that choose the right providers and services. Firms should be sure their staff will adopt new cloud services quickly. They should also first venture into the cloud with data or services that don’t pose a security risk if they are compromised. Companies should enlist the help of a qualified partner to help them determine the right cloud resources and platforms (such as Microsoft’s Azure) for their needs for optimal cost, efficiency, and security.