There has never been a better time to start your 'cloud transformation strategy'. Incredible advances in connectivity over the last few years mean that our business is now mobile. No longer do we need to get back to the office to check an email, it is on your phone.
Microsoft Office 365 and Googles G-Suite provide an easy platforms for the essentials of email, calendar, word processing and spreadsheets but what about those ageing databases running on your ageing servers?
Your staff have embraced connectivity in their personal lives. They organise their social lives with WhatsApp groups and manage their professional profiles on LinkedIn. They have probably used a Dropbox account for work documents.
Your staff are ready for the change! In fact they are mostly self-trained and ready to go (even if they don’t know it themselves!). Release the IT shackles and let them use cloud applications. These applications will help them work smarter and faster.
It is no longer acceptable to have multiple departments dealing with information in silos. When the customer is engaged we should know everything about them.
Professionally configured cloud applications are smart. They can keep everything in sync so your sales, service, marketing and finance teams have a holistic view of your customers.
Your business processes need to be scalable and dynamic to adjust to change. Your legacy systems and processes are holding you back.
Your business may be unique but your day to day process requirements are familiar to the best cloud providers. Modern cloud applications provide you the tools to customise and automate your processes. An SME can benefit from the same features as a large enterprise but only pay on a per user basis allowing you to address the demands of your clients and compete with the enterprise.
Sometimes Paperwork is necessary but more often than not it can be replaced.
Detailed job information can be held on cloud applications and accessed anywhere on any device. Multiple departments can collaborate and update the same job at the same time.
Staff numbers are growing but office space is at a premium. Do all your staff need to be in the office? Could they be with customers or spend some time working from home?
Choose cloud solutions which can host your business applications. Spending some time working from home is a breeze, frees up office space and increases staff morale.
Even the most complex business processes can be accessed and activated from mobile devices allowing staff to spend more time with customers and less time doing admin.
Not only do we need more desk space but we need more disc space. Excel trackers - we have all seen them! Big sheets of unregulated customer data or project plans organised by colour coding. SQL based databases that are creaking at the seems and are difficult to maintain and update. To make matters worse the person that built them is about to retire or has already left the company!
Many of the worlds best cloud applications are scalable. Cloud hosted applications mean any number of users can work on your platform at the same time.
Backup tapes and even automated backups of legacy applications have been a necessary evil. Have you ever had to do a restore? Its not fun.
Cloud platforms have built in resilience in the unlikely even that will be any problems with the data centres. Whilst the focus has always been on hardware failure we also need to consider user error. Backup applications are now available for cloud computing allowing you to selectively restore data that may have been deleted accidentally.
With the new GDPR regulations, data held on multiple systems can become a problem. One of the main issues is control of sensitive personal data from customers or clients is becoming ever increasingly impossible to manage.
Cloud applications can give you control of 'who sees what' and provide you a platform for keeping all personal data in one place rather on multiple spreadsheets and databases.
This is not uncommon. In fact the finance team have probably retreated to a corner of the office or even found their own room! Legacy systems provide solutions for Silos. Sales maybe celebrating the latest deal but where is the purchase order? Operations have finished for the day but the timesheets are missing.
A cloud platform allowing cross departmental collaboration can help alleviate many of these issues. Applications such as Salesforce.com can be configured to provide the right user with the right information at the right time.