You're an expert in your business field. You're probably not an expert in payroll or technology or human resources. Yet, you need to be efficient in all of those areas in order to run your business well. Cloud computing lets you turn your full attention back to what you do best. It lets you minimize the time you spend on all those other business tasks you'd rather pass off to others. Working in the cloud also improves collaboration among staff and clients, and it reduces disruption and duplication. Let's face it, most (if not all!) of your clients are already doing business online. That's where they expect you to be, too.
The thought of moving forward toward a mobile workflow can seem truly daunting. The reality is that despite your fears, if you hope to gain new clients, attract the best employees, and grow your business, you're going to have to go where these people live – in the digital world.
When a business is deciding on whether or not a move to the cloud, it’s typical for a calculation of how much time and money will be saved to occur. However, it’s often not very clear upfront if the hassle of moving your Sage or QuickBooks data into the cloud is worth the potential savings.
Below, you will find four quick points that highlight why making a move to the cloud now will help your business save over time.
How Can Cloud Hosting Help?
1. Zero Capital Costs
Your business can save a lot of money when you work in the cloud. Instead of purchasing every piece of software you need to run your business, you can pay a monthly fee to the cloud provider and customize your software needs.
With all computational power, resources, software and data residing in the cloud, a business that has made the move has no need of acquiring servers, storage, memory, racks, or even software. Instead, a business can opt to incur an operating expense to access IT-infrastructure that always remains modern, updated and maintained. This can allow for an immense amount of business capital to be reinvested or reserved while maintaining a known operating expense over time. Unlike having to maintain on-premise hosting equipment that can fail at any time, by moving to the cloud a business can be rest-assured that emergency capital is not needed in addressing equipment failure.
2. Scaled Expenses
At a predetermined rate, a cloud provider will charge only what your business needs. This is advantageous for a business that is unsure about its growth, or is over/under on its projection. For businesses that haven’t moved to the cloud, expenses on IT is often inefficient, as equipment is typically over-purchased or under-purchased. This not only causes business disruptions and downtime, but it also forces an emergency capital expense to resolve.
3. Increased Productivity
Additionally, cloud hosting gives users the freedom to use their software from anywhere, at anytime - they're never chained to a local desktop at the office and have the ability to continue access their hosted QuickBooks and Sage data while traveling, at home, on-the-go or onsite.
With uptime proven and publicly available by reputable cloud providers, a business can take for granted that access to mission-critical software and resources will be available on-demand. In addition, with cloud-based access, traditional desktop programs and software can now be available 24/7 instead of within business hours only (unlike a business that utilizes an on premise server only). The amount of time saved for workers who would otherwise suffer from business-hour maintenance and software updates is critical for businesses that rely on there being little to no business disruptions.
4. Lowered Utility Costs
Minimize your electricity use! When your own computer hardware isn't tasked with housing all of the software you need to run your business, it can run more efficiently and cost your business less. Servers, NAS systems, and other IT infrastructure often have high power needs that can become expensive as a business grows. Especially with this equipment rarely ever being powered-off after business-hours, the costs of electricity usage greatly increase over time. With a business that has moved to the cloud, none of the extra utility costs associated with on premise infrastructure exists.
How to Drive Profits with Cloud Hosted Applications
In addition to saving you money, cloud hosting can help increase your profitability.
Success in today's business climate depends on collaboration and access. Your employees and customers expect it from you, and web-accessible applications help you meet those needs. Better yet, they save you time and money so you can grow your business, spend more time with family, and maybe even take a worry-free vacation.
Cloud access to your corporate applications can make all the difference to your business – no matter what your line of business.
Most organizations have legacy applications needed to run operations. The application vendor may have an online version, but the features you rely upon are only available in the version installed on your own computer or server. This can leave you feeling trapped or chained to your office. Did you know that your legacy applications can be installed in a state-of-the-art hosting infrastructure with full connectivity, reliability, and support? You can have access to all your functionality and files anytime, anywhere, on any device. That means being able to quickly address any operational need without having to be in a specific location or on a specific computer. No more midnight drives into the office for that one file. No waiting to get back from the business trip to update records or get the client the information they need. No more anxiety build-up from all those critical activities put off until you can be back in the system.
2. Disaster Recovery for Data
Whether your business is located in an area vulnerable to natural disasters or you've been hearing about people whose computers have been hacked, you might be thinking it’s time to develop a good disaster recovery plan.
Disasters are horrible and expensive regardless of the size of your business. A damaged building, furniture, or hardware can all be repaired or replaced. But, what about all of your valuable business and customer data? Web-based applications allow you to keep all your productivity tools and documents intact and accessible, independent of the state of your physical location. You will be able to access all important data regardless of where you are or what device you have available.
3. Staff Efficiency
Does your IT team help increase profits? Wait. Do you have an IT team?
A department full of IT professionals working to keep your computers and software up-to-date and protected from breach is just too expensive for many businesses to even consider. Yet, doing all of those tasks yourself adds loads of non-billable hours to your month. Improving your bottom line without an IT department is entirely possible with the right cloud provider.
Look for one that is a proven expert at managing systems and applications. With a customized cloud service, you will find yourself turning those non-billable hours into profits. The automation that working in the cloud provides means you and your staff can cut downtime due to software and hardware failure, streamline workflows and improve customer experience.
4. True “Road Warrior” Productivity
The ability to work remotely and access what you need anytime, anywhere is one of the hallmarks of cloud technology. When you’re on the road, you need to give your attention to the customers and partners you are visiting. Not worrying about your systems. Having your applications in the cloud allows you and your staff to respond to those client needs while still dealing with normal day-to-day tasks. Better yet, web-based applications can facilitate the kind of work-life balance that many business owners and employees dream about.
Secure Cloud Hosting Solutions
Moving to the cloud has many more advantages for a business looking to save time and money outside of just these four reasons above. When considering whether to make the move, it’s important to realize that making the move now as opposed to later further amplifies the potential savings and efficiency gains for your business. Making the move to a trusted cloud-based provider, like Summit Hosting, provides a serious competitive advantage, and by realizing the distinct reasons why, a business can truly transform along with their IT needs.