How Cloud Computing Can Reduce Costs and Increase Revenue
- June 15, 2015
- By: Vonigo
Every small to medium sized business owner has two goals that he or she must revisit daily: reduce costs and boost revenues. Most business plans, strategies, designs, procedures, and tactics can be boiled down to these two maxims. Therefore anything that can promise, deliver, and maintain these two goals is of a fair amount of interest to that business owner.
Cloud computing has been making a huge splash in the IT world for quite some time. Even amidst security concerns, transferring work to the cloud has become an increasingly attractive option for a variety of reasons. Chief among those reasons is the cloud’s ability to fulfill the two previously mentioned fundamentals.
Today we’ll answer the question: what is the cloud? Additionally, we’ll discover what sort of revenue boosting/cost reduction strategies are offered by this uniquely suited digital domain, and how they can be specifically applied to a small to medium sized business.
Define the Cloud
Simply put, cloud computing consists of data and software being stored at a remote location on servers accessible via an electronic network. This network is almost always the internet, but can also be a closed group of servers as well. So long as the location of these servers is remote and allows shared access among a number of users, it’s considered a cloud. Though there’s quite a bit more to cloud computing than that, so long as you have the idea of shared data in your mind, you’ve got a decent idea of what this technology is all about.
So the more important question is: “How can cloud computing help my business?”
Don’t Forget to Brush Your Teeth
Nobody likes maintenance. Whether it’s taking your car to a shop or sitting in a dentist’s chair, maintaining all of your assets in life can be a real pain. In much the same way maintaining standalone software can be a real nightmare for whoever is handling your IT needs. You’ve got to keep current virus protection, spyware, firewalls, increase storage, and avoid the inevitable slow speeds that always seem to pop up after a few years of use. All of this regular maintenance work can be quite exhausting.
For someone with little technical savvy, an intolerably slow or dying computer usually means a call to Geek Squad or a family member with a computer science degree. This can either be a costly or irritating call to make, and unfortunately, it’s usually a repetitive process.
These begrudging phone calls are completely necessary though. That’s because a PC or Mac with software issues can be difficult to diagnose, hard to fix, and just short of catastrophic for a business owner who hasn’t backed up his files.
None of this is an issue when data is stored and access is shared on the cloud. Even if you’re suffering from a problematic technical issue, cloud based support can remotely view your system, diagnose a problem, and fix any software related issues you may face. So long as you’ve still got an internet connection in place. Even for something as simple or commonplace as a slow computer. Additionally, losing stored information becomes a marginalized worry thanks to the cloud storage backup.
So if you’re connected to the cloud, all of those nagging technological concerns you’d normally have to address yourself are maintained by the cloud as a whole, or by the cloud provider, as the case may be. This can significantly cut down on your maintenance costs, and allow employees to do the real productive work that actually needs to get done.
It certainly seems like being able to oversee a variety of tasks from a centralized location would be preferable to making phone calls or doing leg work to check on individual progress. A cloud computing service will allow you to do just that. Furthermore, anything redundant becomes abundantly clear.
Human error is often the source of unnecessary repetition in the workplace. Cloud technology keeps this sort of error to a minimum by making things like inventory, workflow/scheduling, dispatches, or invoicing visible to multiple parties in a well laid out and organized manner. If two employees have accidentally been dispatched to the same job, one of them can be easily reassigned. Or if two identical products are being ordered for inventory, one can be eliminated. Even if there is a customer complaint about a bill, you can simply review the invoice that your employee delivered to the customer on site and make any appropriate adjustments.
Having the information available and organized is paramount to keeping your company’s overhead to a minimum.
Being flexible in your computing solutions is a sure way to increase efficiency, and being more efficient will inevitably lead to a drastic decline in overhead costs. Greater freedom of movement in the electronic world is just as important to your virtual health as it is in the physical realm to maintain physical health.
This technology enables you or your employees to make adjustments on the fly. Changes in work orders, appointment times, maintenance problems, requests for help, all of this and more can be addressed, assessed, and reviewed from virtually any location. Fast, relevant, and effective responses are required for today’s business environment. Cloud computing’s ability to deliver those responses far outstrips that of older stand alone methods.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Cloud computing makes communication, organization, and data distribution considerably easier than otherwise possible with traditional methods – like packaged software. For example, contacting every employee via phone throughout the day to dispatch them on new assignments or check their progress can be quite a chore, but with each of them consistently noting their progress online, or checking their next destinations on their routes, you can save a massive amount of time and manpower.
Or say you’d like to set up a support system for your employees in case they run into a roadblock on the job, rather than have them call a manager every time they run into a problem. However, you don’t have a technical expert on hand to spare. Well, there are no “new” problems, anything that a green employee might have trouble with, is something that a seasoned veteran has probably dealt with a million times. With cloud computing, you can have a company “field assistance” forum. This would be an online message room where all of your employees can discuss problems and share solutions in real-time, without you having to employ an expert specifically for that task.
The important thing to note is that cloud computing offers opportunities for your employees to have a greater level of connectedness and cooperation than would ever have otherwise been possible.
Another excellent asset to cloud computing is the amount of data you’ll be able to transfer, handle, and process simultaneously is far greater than it would be elsewise. That means a greater and faster ability to review massive amounts of customer data, payment information, outstanding accounts, services previously rendered, and so on.
Not only is there more room for data to be stored, but you can do so without slowing down your personal device. A computer with a full hard drive just won’t run as quickly as one unburdened by all of your various important documents, applications, and programs. It works a lot like a truck that gets better gas mileage when it isn’t hauling a load.
And as we’ve already mentioned, keeping backups of all the data stored on your personal computer takes all the worry out of potentially spilling coffee all over your motherboard.
In essence, you can store much more information, access it more quickly, organize it to your exact specifications, eliminate inefficiency, manipulate or alter the data to tailor fit specific situations, and maintain it at a fraction of the cost in both dollars and in hours spent. You also might be surprised by how much time and money you can save by having a greater level of communication between employees as a result of the cloud’s social media applications as well. When everyone is working together in a clearly organized fashion, the whole operational machine has a way of self regulating, and in so doing decreasing your workload, and increasing the work your company is getting done.
Having these options available puts your company in a much stronger position to grow as large as your ambitions. If that idea sounds appealing to you, we would be happy to give you all the help you need in recognizing the convenience and capability of cloud computing
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