From a business management perspective, perhaps one of the greatest lessons to come out of the recent global health pandemic is the importance of moving with the times and responding to the external environment.
External pressures and trends shape the way that a business operates. The need to stay on the front foot – to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to flexibility of business practice – is neatly demonstrated in the adaptation of business operations to incorporate remote working as a counter to a health crisis that restricted workers’ social movement.
The Trend Towards Cloud Technology
The advent of the internet and developments in personal computers saw a quantum shift in the way that commercial enterprises went about business. The changes made could rightly be described as revolutionary. As technology advanced, so too did the steady move towards the paperless office concept.
The cost-effectiveness and ready availability of mass data storage has made the move from hard data storage to software-based storage attractive for many reasons. As largely cost-driven entities, businesses have reaped the financial benefits of computer-based data storage. This has happened by freeing up office space normally dedicated to the storage of hard paper data and files and reducing the administrative costs of managing and accessing that data as it invariably grew with the business.
In precisely the same way, commerce is steadily marching toward remote ‘cloud’ storage of that data, which was previously held in a centralized location, operated and managed by the business itself. The next progression is found in this steady move towards remote storage technology.
For the IT manager, training and support have rapidly evolved in specialist cloud technology training, and the aws cloud certification is a typical example.
The Growing Need to be ‘Tech Savvy’
The technology market has grown from strength to strength and is typified by rapid progression and change. For smaller business operations that do not enjoy the benefit of a dedicated in-house IT department or specialist, this often rapid progress often falls outside of their capabilities to recognize changing trends and to capitalize on them.
For other businesses, a culture of ‘business as usual’ and sticking to tried and true working methods has seen some organizations fall behind the technology curve.
As new technology and related practice evolves, the growing need to refer to either an in-house or an external specialist consultant has become increasingly important. With commercial operations placing increased significance on information technology and network infrastructure, the question of moving toward cloud-based operations is becoming an important one.
Recent studies show that approximately 70% of businesses are utilizing cloud computing technology to some degree in their daily operating processes. With rapidly increasing cloud capability, exposure to this emerging technology is inevitable.
What Exactly is Cloud Technology?
For those operations still yet to make a move towards cloud-based technology, a deeper understanding of this phenomenon and its potential for business efficiency and growth is becoming increasingly vital.
Typically, many people will speak of the cloud but not fully appreciate exactly what it is. As the statistics suggest, they are very likely already using it in one basic form or another.
In the simplest terms, “the cloud” is a number of remote data storage servers located around the globe. These servers store data securely and permit a user to access and manipulate it exclusively. Anyone using email or social media will already be using cloud technology in its base form. When a user accesses those applications, they are accessing the cloud.
The deeper applications of cloud technology are the ability to use a remote cloud server, store data offsite on a decentralized platform, and move business applications from local hardware (office-based servers) to a third-party provider.
What is the Benefit of Migrating Business to the Cloud?
One of the key benefits of a move to a cloud-based operating system is the ability to dispense with office-based computer hardware – servers and related infrastructure – and therefore all of the management and administration woes that come with it.
In purely financial terms, this means operating capital does not become tied up unnecessarily in plant and equipment.
A traditional problem with computer hardware is obsolescence and the need to routinely upgrade existing hardware. The decentralized cloud service effectively disposes of these concerns by replacing company assets with a remote third-party operating system.
A number of business functions may benefit from this remote operating system, including:
- Human Resources
- Customer services and accounts
- Upper management functions
- Project management
Advances in cloud-based operating systems have been significant in recent years, and the uptake of those services by businesses of all scales has seen stellar growth.
It benefits the business manager to gain a deeper personal understanding of the technology available and its potential applications to stay ahead of the curve with implementing new business strategies and practices.