Today, cloud-based systems are so prevalent that even people who don’t know what “the cloud” is are often already using a number of cloud-based services. But for businesses in particular, cloud systems can offer a number of important advantages. According to CNBC, more businesses than ever are turning to cloud-based systems to save money, improve bottom line profits and use employee time for productive projects rather than routine tasks.
In this post, learn 3 interesting ideas for establishing a cloud system at your business.
Idea 1: Map out all of the resources your business needs and identify how many have cloud-based options.
Here are some basic resources most businesses require to run at maximum efficiency: data creation and editing, employee phone/voicemail and receptionist services, secure data storage and transmission, remote access and collaboration tools, customer management tools, employee timesheet/payroll systems, meeting and training tools, secure email and chat services.
There are many more resources where these come from, of course. “The key is to know which resources will help you lower overhead, boost profits and use employee time for the most appropriate and critical tasks,” said Critical Networking. Then investigate the potential cost savings for moving those resources to a cloud-based system.
Idea 2: Choose the right type of cloud structure for your business.
There are three main types of cloud systems, and each has its own collection of advantages. The key to making cloud technology work for your business is to choose the right cloud structure for your needs.
The three basic cloud systems are as follows:
- Public cloud. A public cloud is managed by a third-party provider. Your business will get its own cloud, but that cloud will be managed from an infrastructure that is shared by many businesses. Public cloud systems are best when your budget is limited and you are not handling highly sensitive data.
- Private cloud. A private cloud is managed in-house by your company. If you regularly handle highly sensitive or classified data, you want total control over every facet of cloud operation, access and security and you have a more robust budget, a private cloud is probably the right fit for you.
- Hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud, as its name suggests, combines the best of both the public and the private cloud. With a hybrid cloud, you share responsibility with a third-party provider to manage the cloud system. You can choose to keep the most sensitive data in-house and under your complete control, while releasing management of less sensitive functions to the provider. For medium budgets with some high security needs, a hybrid cloud often fits the bill.
Idea 3: Keep your business structure relevant through 2020.
According to Inc., the great majority of businesses of all sizes will have moved to cloud-based systems by the year 2020.
In this light, a move to establish cloud-based systems and services at your business can be seen as laying the groundwork for streamlined, cost effective operations into the near future. The key here is to start from within your immediate means and needs and continue to build so that you will be fully transitioned by 2020 or before.
For example, you may start with a cloud-based payroll service (especially since companies that use cloud-based payroll systems report fewer inaccuracies and audits). Next, you may want to begin working as a paperless company by adopting cloud-based document storage, creation, editing, transmission and retrieval services.
You can continue in this way, adding new cloud-based services a la carte as your company grows bigger. Or you may want to consider a scalable all-in-one system that allows you to add modules as you need them and as your budget permits. Here, look for system integration with third party cloud-based tools you want to use.
Most companies today begin with a public cloud system that handles one or more necessary services, such as payroll or a virtual office phone system. But regardless of how your company chooses to approach a move to a cloud-based operational system, once you begin to see the productivity gains, cost savings and business-building potential, you will likely never look back!