Cloud computing transformed the way companies approached their infrastructure. You’re not locked into using on-site resources only. Instead, you have access to a range of cloud-based service providers. It’s common knowledge that the cloud saves businesses money, but you may be wondering about the specifics of how that works and how to get the best value out of these solutions.
Many cloud solutions have features that streamline collaborative efforts between employees, teams and departments. Everyone accesses the files from a centralized location and can make changes at the same time. Employees don’t need to be in the office to make that possible, as cloud-based systems support remote access from a variety of devices.
Improve Customer Experience
Customers have high expectations of the companies they do business with. They want rapid responses through a variety of platforms. Trying to maintain that level of availability through customer support solutions that are tied to a specific workstation is difficult. A cloud-based unified communications solution brings all of the customer contact channels together in one place and provides the necessary mobility. The improved experience and response time leads to more customer recommendations, higher satisfaction ratings and a loyal audience.
Securing Bring Your Own Device Environments
Employees enjoy working on devices that they’re most familiar with, but it’s challenging to maintain a safe environment. Malicious applications installed on personal smartphones, tablets and laptops can compromise your entire network. The IT department can go through every piece of equipment that comes into the workplace, but that takes their time away from other critical tasks.
Cloud-based solutions eliminate this need since it takes your network out of the equation. The service provider has security measures in place to stop compromised devices from accessing its application. They handle the security measures necessary to work with remote connections from a variety of devices.
Eliminating Update Downtime
Updating software is a time-consuming process for your IT team. Patches come out regularly, and they have to track all of this information and find the time to deploy them to the network. If an application’s updating process is difficult to program a script for, the IT technicians have to go to individual workstations to push out the latest version. Cloud-based solutions are updated by the service providers on their own servers. Your employees connect to the cloud resource as usual. Downtime is minimal or nonexistent, and you don’t have to dedicate your in-house IT team to this process.
Since the cloud provider covers the ongoing maintenance and support of the product, your IT workers have more bandwidth to handle their daily duties. They can move to a proactive and strategic approach that improves your company’s infrastructure and supports your business goals.
Avoid Expensive Licensing Fees
The software licensing structure for non-cloud applications can be cost-prohibitive, especially when you consider that a new version typically comes out every few years. The subscription model that cloud-based services use does away with the upfront cost and spreads the total cost of ownership throughout the life of the product.
Reduce the Need for New Hardware
Hardware failures are a fact of life. Servers stop working or grow too outdated to support the applications. Over time, these expenses far outweigh the total cost of ownership associated with cloud-based systems. Consider the long-term equipment expenses when you’re evaluating whether a cloud infrastructure is the right choice for your organization.
Disaster can strike your business at any time, whether it’s a tornado or a malicious internal actor. Downtime eats away at your profitability and causes long-term damage. Robust backup solutions that give you all the features you need to have business continuity are expensive and require a lot of upkeep. When you use cloud-based solutions, you’re automatically moving vital systems and data offsite. The typical cloud company handles the necessary backups and follows best practices for this process.
Getting Help with Compliance
Regulated industries have many compliance rules that they need to adhere to. Businesses without a compliance team have to bring in costly consultants and legal experts to ensure that they are following the requirements. If you fail to comply with these regulations, you may be subject to financial or criminal penalties. Working with cloud-based platforms allows you to leverage the provider’s legal team rather than shouldering the cost yourself.
Seamless Scaling in Both Directions
Demand for your products and services isn’t a static number. Traditional IT infrastructure requires you to have enough on-site hardware to accommodate the capacity needed at your highest demand levels. When you have seasonal shifts and other factors that impact your company’s activity level, you’re stuck maintaining equipment that’s not actively in use. One of the best cost benefits of the cloud is the ability to scale up and down as needed. Since many cloud-based systems have a subscription model based on actual use, it’s easy to adjust your payments.
Moving part or all of your infrastructure to the cloud provides many direct and indirect cost benefits. While on-premises equipment has its uses, especially when you’re dealing with extremely sensitive data, the cloud drastically reduces how much you pay for vital systems.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.