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Leveraging the Cloud to Grow and Transform your Business

For so many years the word “cloud” was a buzzword. When you heard mentions of moving to the cloud, it was something that only bigger companies did, but that is no longer the case today. According to a Microsoft SMB study, 78 percent of small businesses will adopt cloud computing by 2020. Organizations continue to adopt cloud computing for two factors: growth and scalability. If growing your business and implementing strategies that allow it to scale is crucial to you, consider moving to the cloud to gain efficiency and achieve long-term success.

Leverage the cloud to grow your business:

“The cloud” can have different meanings depending on who you ask. In its purest form, the cloud is referred to as a central location on the internet where we can store information, run applications, and connect to anytime and from anywhere. The cloud offers many different benefits for small and mid-sized businesses, including reduced cost, ease of use and automation. How do these benefits play into business growth?

Reduced Cost - The cost of running servers in the cloud can save a significant amount of your budget in capital expenses of hardware. When lowering capital expenses and shifting those expenses to an OpEx model, it frees up capital to help grow businesses. When you build and maintain your infrastructure, you have the challenge of sizing and building infrastructure specifically for your business applications. When running applications in the cloud, you can buy hardware that aligns with the specific application requirements, on-demand. Experienced cloud providers understand what is required to successfully run common applications in the cloud, and because of this expertise, can offer their service at a lower cost.

Ease-of-Use - For small businesses with no or few IT team members, running business applications in the cloud is easy. Even when you have a slightly larger IT staff, you should consider moving a percentage of your business applications to a cloud provider. Running some or all of your IT applications in the cloud frees up your IT staff to focus on growth initiatives, such as automating common business processes. When technology is easy to use, it requires less time for users to get up to speed on using the technology and reduces the amount of IT support required to keep systems running.

Flexibility - The cloud offers a tremendous amount of flexibility over on-premises based technology. If you want to spin up a server in the cloud to test a new application or try new technology, you can do this in a single day, versus weeks on-premises. When using Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), you can adapt your infrastructure to your business needs without a capital investment. The demands of business can change daily -- for example, if you received a large order from a client and needed to scale your IT infrastructure to support them, the cloud offers you that benefit. Adopting new infrastructure in the cloud is easy and inexpensive, thus increasing flexibility.

Automation - One of the most common reasons organizations move to the cloud is to keep their systems updated. Maintenance of technology can make up a large portion of your IT budget. Operating systems, security patches, application patching and other updates are automated in the cloud. Cloud providers build automation into their services, making it easy to scale up or down based on your business requirements. You will want to consider a cloud provider that has also built automation and resiliency into their network infrastructure. Having automation built into the network infrastructure is crucial for businesses that have seasonable or point-in-time changes in their online business demand. Having the ability to scale your network capacity with your company during peak demand can only be accomplished in the cloud. Automation allows you to consume more network and compute resources on-demand versus over buying or under buying for on-premises infrastructure. Though it is possible to build automation on-premises, it requires large investments, IT expertise and systems management to make it happen.

Leverage the cloud to transform your business:

While many organizations choose the cloud for flexibility, cost or scale, the cloud can also be leveraged to transform business operations. Did you know utilizing the cloud could improve collaboration among employees or that by scaling your workforce with the cloud, you can help your business become more competitive in its market?

Cloud promotes a beneficial remote work culture - Even fifteen years ago, remote work was not common in the workplace. Today, some very successful businesses have built a remote culture with the cloud at the center. Using cloud for everything from email, virtual desktop, and running business applications allows your employees to access business tools from anywhere. Remote work cultures allow businesses to source the best talent from a broader range of candidates. Additionally, remote workers typically work from home, which lowers your office space cost. Not every business can have a remote working culture, but using the cloud gives organizations the benefit if they choose to use it.

Business mobility and the cloud - The cloud has enabled businesses that have personnel in the field servicing customers to offer a higher quality of service. Consider a home health care provider where a traveling nurse has access to patient records via a mobile device or can use video to speak with a doctor on call. Or a service technician for an HVAC company can search and order parts immediately from their inventory system right from their smartphone. These examples give you a small glimpse of what is possible when you consider the cloud and how it can transform your business. When factoring in how running business applications in the cloud can benefit your business, the possibilities are endless.

Summary

Whatever your reasons are for considering the cloud, it is essential to understand the benefits it provides to both your business and workforce. The cloud can save you money and transform how your employees collaborate or how you service your customers. Regardless of the stage you are at in considering the cloud, let our team help you find the best path to the cloud. We can make the transition smooth and seamless with our migration services, and even help you execute some of your IT services in the cloud. To learn more, view our Cloud Services or request a live Cloud Demo with our experts.

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