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How to make the most of cloud computing

You only need to look at the explosive growth of services like Microsoft Office 365, Google’s G Suite and Amazon Web Services for evidence of the trend for towards cloud computing.

Businesses have a unique opportunity to achieve tremendous cost-savings and revenue growth in this brave new world while developing future revenue opportunities for their firms.

But you need to plan for the move to ensure your business benefits from adopting a cloud-based infrastructure. Let’s first look at these benefits, and how they can help your business operate more efficiently.

Cloud benefits: agility, productivity and collaboration

The shift to the cloud offers businesses a raft of benefits, including:

  • Operational agility and capacity. Need server or storage space? What about employee access to an application? Scaling capacity up or down is simply a matter of coordinating with your vendor rather than purchasing, installing and implementing expensive IT hardware and software on-site. Backup, recovery and security are all also simplified.
  • Flexibility that enables staff to work remotely and enjoy more flexible hours, which keeps staff both happier and more productive – all at little to no cost. Remote work and flexible hours can also give an organization an edge by allowing them to attract better talent from a wider pool by removing geographic and other barriers.
  • Cloud-based services also allow for fluid coordination and communication among staff, contractors and clients. Rather than working on multiple versions of the same document, team members in different locations can now work on one version, cutting confusion and ensuring better document control.
  • The ability to leverage software and infrastructure as-a-service, thus avoiding costly software and hardware purchases, and the expense of servicing, upgrading and maintaining these resources.
  • Expand capacity when required, as cloud-based services provide auto and self-provisioning capabilities that allow you to expand capacity quickly – with costs directly aligned to your usage.

Making the most of the cloud

The benefits of migrating to a cloud-based operation are real, but it needs to be part of an enterprise-wide cloud strategy. Take the time to develop a high-level approach to benefit from the higher cost savings, improved efficiency and agility of the cloud by:

  • Defining your business case for adopting the cloud
  • Listing what your core requirements are
  • Identifying the core cloud technology and services you require
  • Knowing how your enterprise will benefit from using the cloud

The takeaway is to carefully consider how to make the cloud work for your organization, and to implement it enterprise-wide for best effect and maximum return on investment.