In my experience in Consulting for Business Operations, I have come to realize that even with the evolution of modern business models, business leaders still face the same core challenges. These include:
- Difficulties with growth
- Cross-departmental transparency
- Reducing manual or repetitive tasks
- How to figure out where to spend time and resources intelligently
- Understanding data in real-time to make decisions that are founded on facts logic and knowing what is coming next
The aforementioned challenges can be solved with a reliable information system. different cloud applications. Whether in the small, medium or large business, the burdens of everyday life are often similar to the irritants of the information system used. Meaning, if your information system provides poor reporting than you likely lack information to make decisions.
Today, companies have limited options to run their small or medium businesses: physical servers, company-purchased cloud servers, SAS cloud solutions that include built-in servers, or any combination of these options. Cloud-based solutions are increasingly becoming the best option because of their benefits. The reasons you should choose Cloud Solutions include lower costs, lower carbon footprint, fast deployment, higher ROI, better visibility, continuous improvements, etc. However, there is a lot of resistance when it comes to the Cloud due to security concerns, but as I explain further, the truth is cloud-based solutions with a shared server provides more security than most companies would want to or be able to invest.
I like to give a specific example when explaining Cloud Security. Suppose you are traveling to a foreign country; would you be safer to stay in a tent on the side of a road or in a hotel with a doorman? I am going to assume that while you may enjoy an adventure, you agree the safer bet would be the hotel with someone actively keeping you safe, should the unlikely need arise. Not to mention the other experiential benefits of a hotel: a concierge service and daily cleaning services, which we can compare to the expert consultants and automatic backups. At a hotel, you share both the cost of infrastructure and security. It’s the perfect example of “strength in numbers”.
While people think they can have more control over their own storage, when it is dedicated, the reality is you are in a tent – alone, without support (or a backup), and exposed to the elements.
A third party cloud system offers:
- The security and safety of having a back-up plan
- Specialists to deal with and prevent problems
- Strong surveillance and firewalls for legacy systems (their reputation is based on delivering their products)
- Controlled access that is harder to penetrate than physical servers
- Scheduled updates and upgrades, auditing…
All this included in your annual or monthly fees, with no investment or work from your company required.
If you are still not convinced to take the next step and migrate your business to the cloud, let me tell you one last anecdote. I remember specifically one time sitting with a potential customer and they were defending the need for a dedicated physical server on premise. I asked him to show it to me, and we walked over to the supply closet. Like you would expect, I saw their brooms, cleaning supplies and mop, which had been placed next to the bucket, rather than inside of it, so there was water on the floor. Over to the right, next to the water, was the server humming away. I asked them a couple of questions including who takes home your backups, how often do you have to update the server, when was the last time you cleaned the server. After a conversation of ten minutes that started with “How is your broom closet more secure than an IT Bank-Level Security?” my potential customer, turned into an actual customer excited and ready to migrate to a cloud solution. Maybe you want to ask yourselves similar questions and see if you are truly preparing your business for growth and success.
With over 90% of US companies using cloud infrastructure, the real question is: what are you waiting for… the tent to get a leak?