“Tell me something I don’t know.”
You’re probably aware that cloud computing is good for business. But why? All you hear are the clichés, like “The cloud will save you time and money” and “increase productivity”, when questioning the benefits of cloud computing. And you think, ‘Is that all you got, wise guy?’
So, how does moving to the cloud really help your business?
If you’re going to undertake the considerable effort required to switch your systems, databases, and apps over to a remote platform in the cloud, you need more than just sound bites.
Here are 10 meaningful ways cloud computing can be a difference-maker for Columbus, OH-area businesses.
1. The Cloud is the Only Answer to Tech’s Biggest Weakness
All this ever-growing technology has created is one huge problem: Making it all work together, especially at the platform level. What’s that mean? Programs, CRMs, and apps that work on your computer don’t automatically work on mobile devices or tablets. They need new and different functionality. It’s more than just a different screen size.
Only a platform-based service, therefore, can overcome that. That’s what cloud computing is, in a nutshell – a platform level service (PaaS – Platform as a Service) that integrates your business applications, data, and systems across all devices.
This means your customers and staff can do what they need to do, wherever they need to do it, and on whatever device they have at hand.
2. Keeps Your Staff Close, and your Customers Closer
Customer loyalty is the heartbeat of a growing business. You can’t sustain a business only on new customers.
But people have little patience for confusing technology. If I’ve gone through the trouble of filling all my information in to buy something, and, suddenly, the item is out of stock, or a system error kicks me out, or I need a password I didn’t know about, or dozens of other system-level issues that can interfere with me sending you my money – I’ll quit, and you’ll lose.
Even your most loyal customers won’t tolerate this kind of process too many times. The cloud keeps your information systems working and talking to each other to reduce technology-based errors. That means loyalty. And loyalty means profit.
3. Faster App Development and Deployment
More businesses are currently creating apps to help their customers engage with them, allowing functionality on mobile infrastructure. But app development is time-consuming. The thing is, most of that time doesn’t get spent on the design or the user experience. Most of it goes into security features, back-end coding, and various requirements your customers know nothing about.
Cloud computing takes most of this process off your hands. You can focus on the front end parts of your app, but leave all the backend configuration to your cloud service. That means your apps are up and running much faster – giving you the competitive edge.
4. Keeps Your Documents Within the ‘Family’
Centralized document storage, and the ability to access them from anywhere to make changes everyone can see, is one of the best efficiency savers of the cloud. Google docs is the most well-known example of this. But any business using cloud computing can create or access tools like this.
No more emailing documents back and forth, or having to save big video or image files on network servers (or individual computers). It’s all in one place, off-site, and easy to reach.
5. Integration Avoids Costly Upgrades
Upgrading your software, hardware, CRM, applications, and basically any tech-related asset costs money. Re-integrating those systems after upgrading costs more. Cloud computing reduces all these costs because upgrades happen automatically, and integration is maintained off-site.
6. Re-focuses Your Staff on Growth, Not Maintenance
The amount of time wasted just maintaining a bunch of disconnected, unrelated, aging, cranky software and hardware systems drains the life from your business. The cloud allows you to focus your attention on your business because you don’t have to flush your time down the toilet making all your technology get along. Someone else does it for you, and most of it is automated.
7. Disaster Recovery Made Simple (as much as possible)
Waking up with a horse’s head in your bed feels about the same as walking into work and finding out you’ve been victimized by a cyberattack or that your data got lost in a natural disaster or a technical glitch. It’s panic time.
But if all your data and systems are backed up and functioning in cloud-based off-site locations, you can rest easy. All your valuable tech assets are secure. The cloud makes disaster recovery much simpler compared to all your technology present on business premised. And the horse gets to live.
8. Automatic Software Updates
Imagine never having to buy software again because it continually updates. That’s what cloud computing has made possible. More and more software companies are taking advantage of it. And you should too.
9. No Expensive On-Site Equipment to Buy
Big technology expenses can, for the most part, become a thing of the past with cloud computing. You won’t need big servers anymore, or all the other infrastructure that goes with them. That takes a major load off your budget and your staff.
10. Innovate Faster – Stay Ahead of the Competition
One of the biggest challenges for businesses is any sort of change. This is especially true with technology. A fully working cloud computing system makes innovation and the market differentiation that comes with it faster and easier.
If you launch a new product, your technology can integrate it across all your systems much faster in the cloud than if you have a bunch of island systems for marketing, sales, accounting, customer interfaces, HR, billing, and all the rest.
With your systems and data integrating and operating out of the cloud, you can get back to working on your business – keeping up with your loyal customers, and reaching out to new ones. And you’ll be able to sleep peacefully every night (but hopefully not with the fishes).