The “Cloud” is a technical term that a lot of people use but can’t clearly define. In reality, once you strip away the technical jargon, it’s essentially your data and/or processing power running from somewhere other than your local device, whether that be your phone, laptop or even TV. Looking at the picture above you can begin to see how the evolution of the cloud has impacted services from email and security to finance and social media.
One example that I find a lot of people can relate to is taking a picture on your phone. When you take a picture, it is stored on your phone’s internal memory. However, when you upload that picture to Facebook you’re uploading it to the cloud. Another example that I normally talk about is Netflix; when you’re watching movies or TV shows from Netflix, you are streaming them directly from the cloud.
How can working in the cloud benefit my business?
Moving some or all of your workforce and business software into the cloud provides some short and long term benefits. Short term, you can expect to see an increase in performance and overall usability as you are no longer bound by your office email server or slow website. You can also expect to see more efficient workflows evolve out of what you’ve always done and a drop in capital expenditure. Long term you can expect to see a lower overall cost in a 1:1 comparison but don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending more on technology after moving, just remember to check if this increase is in line with your revenue and profit increases as well.
Now the above statements are true if a few assumptions are found correct. The first is that you’re infrastructure can support or be upgraded to support working from the cloud, specifically your internet connection. Your connection needs to be fast enough to handle your software or services in the cloud. Second, you and your work force are willing to go through a learning curve as some of your workflows and day to day processes might change. Third, I’m assuming you’ve found the right solution whether that be through working with a partner or doing the research yourself.
Whether your an existing business with decades behind you or a start up looking to scale, the cloud is something that you can’t simply ignore. If you haven’t already started moving to the cloud, I’d highly recommend investing some time and looking into it; you’d be surprised what it can do for you and your business.