• Mark Ledgerwood

4 simple and effective ways cloud services can benefit your business

The technology talk of the year has resounded heavily to the world of business, with cloud being the hot topic for many. Cloud services have been essential in helping teams connect and collaborate throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

A recent survey by KPMG, revealed 56% of executives believe that cloud services have become an essential staple in any organisation due to the impact of COVID-19. Although it has proven itself as a means of constant communication, many businesses see it as a substantial investment in reliance and continuity.

The cloud is a storehouse for all business data. Investing in mission-critical infrastructure through the cloud is crucial to long-term business continuity, especially for enterprise resource planning(ERP) software. However, the branch extended to businesses through a cloud-based solution goes beyond simply helping staff maintain connection throughout the pandemic.

It is not simply an investment in technology it's an investment into your business's past, present future, and livelihood. It allows for better efficiency, productivity, performance, security and continuous innovation but more importantly, it's also a great relief for business headaches and woes.

Through quality business resilience, you have access to accurate decision-making data, more time to focus on your business KPI’s and targets, and more time for your team to prioritise what is truly important without worrying about the IT sector. Below are a few more detailed examples of how a cloud-based environment can be beneficial in business resilience:

Access to more comprehensive data

Collecting and storing data is a tried and true staple in every type of business. Cloud technologies provide a platform for cohesive, specified storage of data from different areas and can collate them into specific pools. This limits data duplication and leads to more informed business decisions.

When business-critical systems and data are stored in one place, there is less confusion and more integration. Especially when operating in multiple locations. All business-critical information can be easily accessed by all relevant stakeholders or staff members regardless of location.

Customers' needs are evolving, with cloud-based solutions businesses are better positioned to meet these needs.

A clear view of the organisation's financial position

The financial standing of a business is the absolute foundation for everything when it comes to the business world. Without an understanding of this all marketing, sales, operation, work efforts and anything you could think of, a business will crumble.

When the ERP software is in the cloud, it becomes highly resilient and allows for key decision-makers to assess the bottom line concerning all parts of a business. Often, most cloud-based solutions centre around a subscription-based system which is also beneficial as it minimises unexpected costs.

The ability to work remotely without compromising productivity

The modern era of business has changed dramatically in the short period of a year. What once was at best an after-thought quickly became a very harsh reality that we had to adapt to. Being resilient these days relies on complete access to data from remote workplaces and for staff to be able to operate normally as if they were in the office. Throughout the lockdown, many businesses had to improvise or adapt to the remote-working lifestyle. While here it is in the past, many businesses around the world still live this reality, and many kiwis have opted into continuing to work from home or breaking their weeks up, so the appropriate processes must be in place.

We pose this question to you: How would your business have operated if COVID happened 5 years ago?

The benefit of cloud-based systems and services means that as long as a user has access to the internet, they can access all of their normal files and edit their documents as if they were in the office. This in turn builds resilience and flexibility in a business, which is essential for operating in the current business climate.

Alternatively, the massive impact on the economy that COVID had should serve as a wake-up call to any organisation that has not invested in new technologies. All industries were affected differently during the pandemic but one common issue they all had was the demand for connectivity and the ability to work from home. It is a raw reminder to all organisations that the world is changing.

The demand for a more secure, less vulnerable user

One of the major benefits of cloud-based services means that the risks of becoming a victim of a cyber attack is largely mitigated. Cloud services such as backups replicate all of the business data and can store it in several different locations meaning should cyber attacks - such as a ransomware or phishing attack - take place, you can restore your data to a backed up version. These versions are typically well maintained and up-to-date meaning you don't get left with days of out-dated information and typically are up and running within an hour.

This adds an extra layer of security to your business and minimises the risk of severe data loss that may cripple a business and certainly spares you the expense of paying a ransom fee.

With more users working remotely, it is understandable that there are many risks involved however when taking the time to set up the proper processes, you can avoid becoming a victim or mitigating the damage of a cyber attack.

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