A Guest Post by Lilly Miller
This has been the year of the most dramatic changes businesses have had to embrace for a very long time. Most decisions are made with the pandemic in mind, attempting to mitigate the impact of the looming recession and the risk of losing business for the long term. Naturally, with that mindset dominating the business world, companies are now looking to migrate to the cloud in order to leverage the built-in features that this technology offers and maximize productivity in the process.
Yet, what can you expect from the cloud? Although it’s definitely not a silver bullet to resolve all of your remote work and productivity issues, you can rest assured that the cloud will be a huge part of the solution for 2021. Here are a few of the core benefits you can anticipate when you’re ready to leverage the cloud, provided that you choose the right provider and the most optimal tools for your business.
Elevated business availability and scalability
Based on the latest global research by the International Data Corporation (IDC), we can expect over 90% of businesses to transition to a multi-cloud infrastructure by 2022. They’ve also dubbed 2021 to be the year of the multi-cloud, indicating just how significant and omnipresent this shift will be for companies wanting to streamline their processes and become more agile.
Combining the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the public cloud which allows businesses to migrate more easily without overburdening their budget, with the compliance regulation and security of the private cloud allows your business to be available 24/7. Higher availability makes your business more viable for your target customers all the while helping your staff manage internal processes without issues.
Tool integration and transparency
As the pandemic has pushed more companies to switch to remote work, technology (the cloud included) has revolutionized collaboration and business processes for remote and hybrid companies. In fact, surveys show that 36% of businesses use cloud-based management tools, allowing for easier collaboration as well as better productivity. Remote workers can be 20 to 25% more productive than their on-site colleagues, so enabling cloud-based teamwork and transparency can help reduce costs by inspiring productivity.
In multi-layered business processes such as manufacturing, where some teams will inevitably work on-site while others can work from home, utilizing comprehensive MRP software can increase productivity thanks to the cloud. How? By leveraging tool integrations to keep all processes visible across all departments, enabling teams to leverage data from various tools and automate a range of menial tasks on a daily basis.
- Use the cloud to manage your accounting and bookkeeping, time tracking, inventory management, and work orders all in one place.
- Practice access control to ensure your employees have access to the necessary documents and data, thus saving time on unneeded approvals and communication.
- Boost sales and customer satisfaction by recognizing emerging trends in demand, adapting your supply chain, and helping your marketers communicate with your audience.
The very same tools that simplify remote collaboration and grant access to vital data for your employees can be of pivotal importance for another cloud capability: automation. Managing your cloud servers, deploying virtual machines, and managing storage are merely some of many cloud-based processes that require complex tasks to be performed. Fortunately, automation has become a core capability for your cloud infrastructure, thus helping your business avoid human error in the process, which can be both costly and time-consuming to recover from.
Choosing specific cloud software can eliminate manual tasks such as data entry or data sharing. Moreover, you can automate customer-facing features thus reducing your employees’ workload, such as sending customer reminders and notifications regarding their orders. Although some level of cloud feature configuration will require human input, many tasks can be automated across all of your departments, enabling greater productivity and reducing employee burnout.
- Automate data backup on cloud-based storage such as DropBox or Google Drive.
- Enable payroll automation and set up recurring bill payments.
- Send out automated invoice reminders to your customers on a specific date of each month to help avoid overdue payments.
- Use an automated ticketing system for customer support, which will boost visibility for all customer support agents and help people resolve the most immediate issues, all the while learning from the more experienced support team members.
On one hand, security is one of the core roadblocks for cloud adoption for most companies, but as our current situation calls for more secure cloud options, providers are stepping up to the challenge. Of course, different providers and their service tiers come with a range of security features which you can leverage when you’re using the public cloud and have no need for on-site servers.
For example, cloud providers ensure improved compliance when it comes to implementing the latest security encryption protocols. Then again, their built-in monitoring systems and VPN offers enable elevated online privacy and cyber-attack prevention. Finally, the cloud-based disaster recovery and data backup solutions can help companies elevate security for the long term.
However, for the cloud to be deemed secure, you need well-trained and educated employees who know how to implement the latest security-enhancing procedures. Their ability to manage software tools, passwords, and follow security protocols will define the level of security of any cloud infrastructure you choose.
Cloud computing is quickly becoming the beacon of effective remote work, business scalability, and overall effectiveness. Make sure you leverage all the cloud features at your disposal to give your business the edge it needs to survive and thrive in the years to come.