Top 5 Reasons to Adopt Cloud-based Office Solutions
Posted on Feb 9, 2021
2020 was the year of workplace cloud computing and productivity improvements.
“Cloud computing” refers to storing and accessing shared data and programs through the internet.
Being in the cloud, they can be accessed on-demand as needed and are often paid for on a subscription basis, without a large upfront capital expense. The alternative is to store and access this information from a physical location, such as a computer’s hard drive or an ‘on-premise’ server.
2020 has exposed the risks of having all business data strictly on-premise. Overnight employees across Australia were forced to work from home. Businesses that were already running on cloud-based programs had an advantage as they were able to continue with business as usual. Those that had their data on local servers and used on-premise software suddenly needed to adapt.
While cloud computing and the concept of sharing processing power has been around since the 1960’s, it rose to prominence in the 2000’s as technology improved, internet speeds increased and big players such as Amazon and Microsoft entered the marketplace. These days there are a range of applications to help businesses, large or small, operate without the need for any physical on-premise servers.
There are a huge range of benefits for adopting cloud computing, but here are our top 5 reasons why businesses should make the switch.
1. Increased Security
When data is stored using a physical on-premise server or machine, there is a greater risk of losing information. As well as the risk of physical damage (for example a power outage or fire), an in-house data centre or server requires regular, sometimes critical, software updates to avoid security breaches. Cloud providers constantly upgrade their systems to keep them state of art and secure against the latest threats. This keeps your data safe with minimal interruptions.
2. Increased Productivity
When your business adopts a cloud-based workflow this has productivity benefits. By moving documents to one centrally stored online environment, such as OneDrive or Dropbox, you are able to manage version control and more efficiently work together. As opposed to keeping individual files on separate devices, when documents are stored on the cloud they can be viewed and edited collaboratively by colleagues, whether they are working onsite in the office or remotely.
3. Improved Business Agility
Cloud based office solutions generally operate on a subscription model (an operational expense, as opposed to capital expense) which means there is additional flexibility for your business to grow or change. If you need more users, more storage or more products you can adjust your subscription without large expenses or downtime. Conversely, expanding on-premise infrastructure can be complicated and expensive. Cloud computing is particularly powerful at increasing the agility and competitiveness for small and medium enterprises as it allows them to adjust their subscription requirements as needed.
4. Improved customer experience
When your business runs more efficiently your customers will benefit. Having a single collaborative platform to store data and communication means that everyone in the business can access them when needed. Information doesn’t get siloed with only a single person able to answer a customer’s query. Whole teams, who can work from anywhere in the world, can access central information via cloud-based software. It also means you can access real-time data and insights, which can help inform business improvements, making it easier for customers to do business with you.
5. Reduced costs
The setup expenses for cloud-based systems are far less than the alternative of buying hardware, installing relevant applications, and taking care of ongoing updates and infrastructure management. There is no equipment to fix or to replace once it becomes obsolete. Adopting a cloud solution also reduces the time your in-house IT staff need to spend on system maintenance, freeing your resources up for more productive projects. An added cost saving comes in the reduced energy consumption of not needing to maintain your own on-premise data centre. This infrastructure not only needs power to run, but server stacks also require constant climate control to ensure they don’t overheat. When you shift to a cloud-based data system you no longer need to manage the physical server to maintain smooth business operations. You also have the agility of scaling to match your current needs.
Investing in the cloud enhances a business’ operations allowing them to save resources and better service their customers. 2020 forced many organisations to review their processes and move to cloud hosted platforms and due to the benefits of adopting a cloud-based office solution we expect this trend to continue.