Five things to do when you get to the cloud
Cloud computing is drawing the attention of many businesses across Australia.
There are five steps to ensure your business is making the most of the technology, according to BDO Tax and Advisory Manager Robert Cuda.
Cloud technology is one of the fastest growing developments for businesses of all sizes to keep their eye on.
While many organisations have already taken a leap of faith and committed to the benefits these services can offer, others may still be unaware of what cloud computing means for their operations.
Moving to the cloud doesn't guarantee a business immediate success. Like all major technology investments, maximising the advantages inherent to cloud services means preparing and executing a strategy that acknowledges how this technology could evolve further.
Any business that has recently upgraded to the cloud or may be adopting the technology in the near future needs to be aware of the full range of benefits on offer.
It's also essential to future proof cloud operations. As this is a platform based on constant evolution, businesses must acknowledge what upcoming developments could mean for security and the devices employees connect to the cloud with.
The five things businesses can do to ensure they get the most out of their cloud services:
1. Get the most out of your cloud products
It can be hard for businesses new to the cloud to understand its full potential when they first dip their toes in. The best way to understand the range of benefits is to compare the cloud to another piece of technology we're all familiar with: the smartphone.
Investing in a cloud-based system for a business and then only using basic features is like purchasing a smartphone and then only making phone calls; it leaves a wide variety of capabilities underutilised and means an enterprise is not getting the most out of its investment.
This doesn't just refer to technological enhancements, however, even simple measures such as further staff training could be enough to get more out of these services.
2. Take notice of updates
One of the major advantages of cloud software is that all updates happen remotely. Because these changes happen seamlessly and behind the scenes in most cases, it's up to managers and business leaders to stay on top of them and be aware of what they mean for the way cloud services are used.
When considering further enhancements for the existing cloud infrastructure, it's important to check which updates are planned for the future, as this could have an effect on the usefulness of the enhancement.
Keep in mind as these updates are becoming more frequent, features that weren’t available yesterday or weren’t working properly may be added or upgraded within weeks.
3. Security and back-ups
One of the most talked about concerns regarding cloud computing is security. However, being aware of what can affect the security of these systems is an important step forward for any cloud-capable business.
While much of the data and software that businesses rely on will be stored on remote servers, these are still at the mercy of events such as human error, mechanical failure or natural disasters.
By preparing continuity plans for regular backups and security reviews, businesses can make their cloud experience much more resilient to down time.
Business productivity thrives on collaboration, and this is exactly what most cloud services seek to enhance. Cloud computing means that key decision makers can access important information at any time with little more than the push of a button.
Advisers such as accountants can have access to information and be in a position to advise their clients much more actively than in the past.
The key question to ask is ‘how far can this collaboration extend?’
By linking different platforms instant comparisons to industry benchmarks are possible giving decision makers much more information to make informed decisions about their business.
5. Think about tomorrow
Like businesses, cloud computing is always evolving.
Consider how far the technology's influence can reach through an organisation and plan future strategies accordingly.
The uptake of cloud computing within a business can enable flexible work practices, have the potential to expand a business outside its existing geographical boundaries and add the possibility of expanding products or services.
To find out more about how to get the most of your cloud services, register for the upcoming CCIQ webinar, The cloud and beyond … on April 21.