In the past, the big debate was whether it was necessary — or even intelligent — to move critical business processing functions and processes to the cloud. However, that debate is long over; or at least, it should be: because there is only one direction that all businesses need to head, and that’s skyward.
If your business is still operating close to the ground, here are five reasons why you should head to the cloud ASAP:
- Substantial cost savings: there are no CapEx costs associated with cloud software because you’re leveraging the hardware infrastructure of your various SaaS vendors. What’s more, most vendors offer multiple licensing models with add-on options, so you can pay for what you need vs. what you don’t.
- Scalability: predicting how much capacity you need can be like trying to time the stock market — i.e. it’s often futile rather than fruitful. When you head to the cloud, you can scale up and down based on your changing needs. For example, if a welcome surge in demand means that you onboard 10 new employees, you can affordably give them access to required apps and systems (e.g. project management, CRM, hosted VoIP phone, etc.) within minutes. Conversely, if an unwelcome lull in demand forces you to let 10 employees go, then you can let existing licenses/seats expire vs. be saddled with excess capacity.
- Business continuity: the possibility of losing critical data due to a cyber attack, fire, or other adverse event is the stuff of nightmares — and it’s also the stuff of lawsuits, fines, and lasting reputation damage. While heading to the cloud won’t mean that hackers suddenly leave you alone or that tornadoes and floods can never possibly occur, it does mean that if anything catastrophic does take place, then you’ll have rapid access to backups (and backups of backups).
- Better collaboration: a study at Stanford University found that even the perception of more effective collaboration boosts employee engagement and performance. Heading to the cloud does more than tinker with perceptions. It unleashes a whole new level of internal and external collaboration — especially for remote workers and “road warriors” who need to stay in the loop.
- Automatic updates, patches and fixes: the bane of existence for many IT professionals is being forced to trek from one workstation to the next, in order to ensure that each desktop has the latest updates, patches and fixes. And things are even more of a burden when employees use laptops outside of the office. Cloud software is automatically updated by the vendor on a regular basis, which ensures that employees are always working with the latest, best and safest version.
A Few Words About Security
In the back of your mind — or perhaps the front — you may be thinking: “all of these benefits are impressive, but isn’t the cloud a security minefield?” The surprising answer to this is no. On the contrary, research has shown that 94% of businesses saw an improvement in security after moving to the cloud, and 91% said that it was easier for them to meet compliance requirements as well.
Given this, the question your business should be asking isn’t “is it wise and worthwhile to head to the cloud?”, but rather “how can we afford not to head to the cloud as quickly as possible?”.