While businesses vary vastly, what I have learned through consulting for business operations is that the core challenges of all companies are similar: difficulties with growth, cross-departmental transparency, reducing manual or repetitive tasks, figuring out where to spend time and resources intelligently, understanding data in real time to make decisions that are founded on facts and logic and knowing what is coming next.
Whether you’re in a small, medium or large business, the burdens of everyday life are often similar to the irritants of the information system you use. Meaning if your information system provides poor reporting, then you likely lack the information required to make decisions.
Today, companies have limited options to run their small or medium businesses: physical servers, company-purchased cloud servers, software-as-a-service cloud solutions that include built-in servers or any combination of these options. Many business owners start conversations with our consultants with a firm belief that a dedicated company — cloud or physical — server is the best option for them to ensure the security of their company data. As we explain further, however, they uncover the truth: Cloud-based solutions with a shared server provide more security than most companies would want to or be able to invest in.
I’ll be perfectly blunt: Imagine you are traveling to a foreign country. Would you be safer staying 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 the costs of infrastructure and security with the other guests, much like you would on a shared server. It’s the perfect example of “strength in numbers.”
The reality is that while people think they can have more control over their own storage when it is dedicated, you are actually in a tent alone without support or backup, and exposed to the elements. A third-party cloud system offers the security and safety of having a backup 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 access than physical servers, scheduled updates and upgrades, and auditing. All this is included in your annual or monthly fees, with no investment or work from your company required. Examples of mid-market and enterprise solutions include Big Bang ERP partners such as Netsuite ERP, Salesforce CRM and Rootstock ERP, as well as other solutions such as Freshbooks, Kenandy, Openair and Quickbooks.
Read the Forbes article here.