You've heard it over and over. This "cloud" thing. Everything is "in the cloud." Except your business. Everything is just fine, you keep telling yourself. My company has survived this long without this phantom "cloud." After all, you look up in the sky and see clouds blow away or dissipate. It's fleeting. But that's where you're wrong.
Cloud services are hardly fleeting -- in the fact they're constantly expanding. And if you're not taking advantage of the cloud you're missing out on serious cost savings and growth opportunities. Is the cloud right for you? If you've ever thought or discussed any of the following items, then you surely should get your head, and your business, in the cloud.
1. What do you mean we have to upgrade again? What growing company hasn't experienced this conundrum? It feels like you've just invested in new servers or software only a year or two ago. And chances are, you have. But that's last year and this is this year. See a pattern? You've grown or perhaps right-sized and now you need to either spend big bucks for new equipment or deal with wasted money on "growth" you no longerrequire.
And guess what? You'll probably have to do it again next year. Generally, with cloud services new equipment is a thing of the past. They expand or contract as you need them and you only pay for what you use. Not to mention the savings on the physical equipment you no longer need to buy.
2. Are current or more staff and space the only options? IT staff -- internal or outsourced -- is expensive for everyone, in every industry, regardless of business size. And don't get us started on the cost of office space and electricity to house that equipment or staff, or both.
When your services are in the cloud, much of your IT becomes like a utility service, allowing you to reclaim costs spent on staff and space, re-investing it where it matters most -- on your bottom and top-line initiatives.
3. I'm nervous about keeping our data secure. Nothing is more important than keeping your data safe. Disasters happen and the last thing you want is for all your data to disappear, having to spend a fortune on disaster recovery. The power of the cloud can offer built-in safeguards for recovery. And a reliable, trustworthy provider can customize to your needs to make sure you're properly protected. And with SLAs (Service Level Agreements) of 99.9% to 99.999%, that's a pretty solid guarantee.
4. Stop complaining about the VPN. Toss it out! Your remote workers keep complaining about the slowness of the company VPN (Virtual Private Network), if they can log in at all.
And when it goes out, often times after hours when they need it most, that means someone has to be around to troubleshoot it all hours of the night.
With cloud services, company files can be securely available any time, anywhere. And there's neither any VPN needed nor IT to manage it. That'll stop the complaints!
5. What is our competition using? Guess what? Chances are they're using cloud services of one kind or another (or even several kinds). And that means they are more efficient, more productive and, let's be honest, at the end of the day probably more successful. That's unacceptable. Competition is hard enough as it is without putting you in a hole at the start of every day. To be competitive in today's landscape you need to use the tools that put you at an advantage.
6. Are we compliant? In today's world, data compliance has a huge magnifying glass all over it. It's scrutinized and analyzed. One wrong move and you (or your employees) can put your company at risk. There's government regulation here and abroad. And the regulatory guidelines are constantly changing. Of course, not all cloud providers are equal, so you want to do your due diligence to make sure they're up to the latest standards. But while compliance is ultimately your responsibility, having the right provider as a partner certainly makes the task that much less daunting.
7. Why is it so difficult to be able to collaborate? You've got a bunch of important files stored on the server, so yeah they're accessible to everyone. Just who is working on what and when is a huge problem. And there's always email, right? Uh, ever calculate how much time is wasted collaborating via email? With the cloud and its collaboration capabilities, all employees -- no matter where they are -- can collaborate on files and projects together. And, you can even give access to clients ans customers to make things even more efficient. Real time. Real secure. Real productive.
At some point, if you've asked yourself or any of your managers even one of these questions, the time has arrived. The signs are staring you in the face. Introduce yourself to the cloud.