It doesn’t matter if you run a well-established business, or are starting a new one from scratch. The one thing that is on the mind of all business owners is “how do we cut costs?”
Most businesses know that technology can improve operations, increase capabilities, and better facilitate growth…but at a cost. Well I wanted to add my $0.2 cents (see what I did there?) and say that by reducing physical hardware/software and adopting cloud-based systems, you can absolutely use technology to cut costs as well. There is some incredible cloud-based software available. One example is webwalk which allows you to simulate the end user experience.
The old-school way of establishing technology infrastructure was through paying for hardware (servers and networking/storage equipment) and software (applications) up front and buying service contracts and/or paying for additional employees to support those “on-premise” (physical equipment at your location) assets. Setting up on-premise hardware and software takes more planning, more manpower and more administration, which all adds to a businesses bottom line.
Cloud SaaS (Software as a Service) providers are offering businesses virtual server/networking/storage space and applications that your business can acquire and implement technology assets based on your exact needs.
Leasing hardware and/or licensing applications via the cloud is less expensive to acquire versus paying for physical equipment and software copies in bulk and up front.
Cloud systems require less administration and support as many cloud providers offer support as part of the package. Paying for a dedicated “on-duty” IT guy is no longer required, but if needed, your business can reduce costs by bringing on IT help on an as-needed or project-based basis.
Cloud systems can be scaled up or down as your business changes. You don’t have to spend so much time budgeting ahead of time for “fixed asset” tech needs. With the cloud, if your business grows, the tech can grow with it. If you need to cut back, it’s much easier to dial down cloud services.
Another looked over cost-saving aspect to adopting the cloud is increased productivity due to access. Teams have access to company systems, applications and data anywhere they have internet access. This give your business the ability to offer flexible working environments, which can lead to better work-life balance, which as been found to improve productivity.
The more productive teams are, the more money your business can make, which can more than make up for the costs it takes to implement or transition to the cloud.
The good news is your business may already be in the cloud. If your email, documents and data are not on a computer or stored on NAS (network attached storage) devices on site, you’re already in the cloud. If you use web applications to communicate, collaborate and create, you’re already in the cloud.
The real trick to adopting and maximizing the cloud to make if work for your business is by ensuring business operations aren’t splintered all across the cloud.
So it’s beneficial that your business take inventory of all the cloud systems to see where redundancies are, create a strategy for optimization, and deploy an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for all team members to follow. That way your business can see all the benefits of adopting the cloud: Easier administration, increased security and productivity…and reduced cost.