Cloud computing brings many benefits to a business. Above and beyond cost savings, it can free up your IT staff, providing them with more time to work strategically and utilise new technologies that genuinely add value to your business…
Cloud computing – the practice of storing and accessing business management systems and data over the internet, rather than via a local server or a personal computer- is on the rise as more business directors become aware of the benefits.
According to the latest research for the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), 78% of UK businesses are already using cloud services and this is predicted to increase to 85% by 2018. 63% of UK enterprises are now planning to move their entire IT estate to the cloud in the near future.
By migrating to the cloud many businesses see an immediate reduction in the costs involved in maintaining and supporting their own IT estate.
Another major benefit is that by outsourcing routine maintenance tasks to a managed hosting provider, your own IT personnel can spend more time working strategically, helping your business utilise technology to improve performance and productivity, helping you sharpen your competitive edge.
In the new digital economy, ensuring technology is a valuable business asset and not a drain on resources is essential. Increasing the involvement of your IT personnel with projects to help refine business processes or utilise new technologies to improve performance could provide a major boost to your company.
Just as with every department in an organisation, your IT team members wants to make a meaningful contribution to your business. Harnessing their expertise to help define strategy and identify the tools which will help you achieve your goals changes their role from ‘keeping the lights on’ to something far more meaningful – and valuable.
So what technologies should your IT staff be exploring?
One of the most common problems that arises from using multiple systems alongside spreadsheets is that these create ‘data silos’. A data silo is a repository of data that remains under the control of one department and is isolated from the rest of the company.
A lack of integration between the different systems makes it far harder than it needs to be for your teams to share information and collaborate effectively.
Many businesses benefit from fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that bring together different business areas all within a single system. Consolidating all information within a single repository eliminates the need for multiple systems and improves the flow of accurate, up to date information around a business.
By involving IT staff and tasking them to find and recommend solutions that meet the needs of everyone in the business, you can significantly reduce the time it takes to find and deploy the right system.
For example, with increasing numbers of people working from home or from locations other than the office, it’s essential that they have access to the information they need and when they need it.
Cloud based ERP systems like Encore from Anagram Systems can be accessed from wherever a user can find an internet connection and via smartphones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs. This can significantly improve efficiency and productivity, making it easy for your teams to collaborate effectively from wherever they are working.
By freeing up your IT team from routine maintenance and giving them greater responsibility to work with all department to find new ways of working utilising technologies like ERP software, incredible things are possible. If, however, your IT staff spend their days patching and propping up elderly servers and creaking PCs, you’ll never know what they’re truly capable of achieving.
Migrating to the cloud could be the fresh start you and your IT staff need to help your business grow.