Cloud migration, which involves migrating your business management system from on-premise to a cloud-based platform, can seem daunting to business owners for different reasons. If you’ve been using on-premise systems for a long time, the migration process itself may seem overwhelming. Will your data be preserved? Will you have the same level of access and control?
Many business owners also have preconceived ideas about the costs involved – although cloud options are often cheaper than maintaining on-site servers and IT teams.
In a connected world, businesses still using older systems with on-site servers will struggle to manage and use their business data effectively – if they can access it. And that’s before you consider the price rises and inflation, increasingly fierce global competition and high customer expectations that are cutting deep in many industries.
In 2022, businesses still using old, non-integrated, server-based systems should be taking a good look at their options. Although the cloud isn’t necessarily the answer to every question, it could be a major force for change in your business. Here’s how:
1. Fully connected, fully integrated
Imagine you have a different person, speaking a unique language, managing each part of your payroll process – one collecting timesheets, one recording hours, one sorting taxes, one handling the money. That’s what managing a business without a centralised system is like. Rather than working in sync, your systems don’t ‘talk’ to each other, increasing the risk of errors, miscommunication and delays.
With a cloud system, everything is housed in one virtual place.
This means all your systems – from payroll and accounts to staffing and stock management are automatically connected and accessible through a single login. They’re working from the same, real-time dataset, so there’s no need to transfer information or double-check figures.
2. Data access and delivery
These days, accessing vast amounts of data is easy – it’s what you do with it that counts. With a cloud system, you get access to your business information, supplier information, customer order and real-time information about global currency changes, weather patterns and anything else that might impact your work.
Better yet, filtered through your cloud platform and displayed on a custom dashboard, this data can be used to inform day-to-day work and long-term business decisions. Many cloud platforms will integrate information from all your systems and create automated reports to make it useful.
3. Efficiency plus
Maximum results, minimal time and cost. That’s the dream of almost every business owner.
The cloud can deliver efficiency at scale, automating some parts of your processes and streamlining others. Manual tasks can be simplified or automated, saving time for your people and reducing staffing needs. Every small moment of streamlining, every tiny inefficiency that’s eliminated adds up to real savings in time and money.
4. Flexibility, mobility and more
The pandemic showed us that working from home can be just as effective as working from the office. Now, more staff have made the shift to permanent or part-time work from home, while others may be out on site visits or client outreach. You might also have a workforce spread across multiple premises: offices, factories, warehouses, shops or distribution centres.
Whatever your setup, remote access offered by the cloud makes it simple. All your staff, no matter where they are, can see up-to-date information and use work tools when they need them. They just need a mobile phone, laptop or other connected device and an internet connection. This can be a major timesaver, cutting down on rework, calls between different premises and errors caused by miscommunication.
5. Cutting costs
Cost reductions don’t just come in the form of efficiency – they can also come from the cloud itself. Unlike on-premise servers that need storage space, hardware, maintenance and IT support, cloud platforms are relatively cheap to run. There’s no need for specialist equipment, storage space or full-time IT teams. Many cloud platform providers offer remote support if needed.
Because cloud systems are generally simpler in scale, they can also be a cost-effective choice for growing businesses. Rather than needing to upgrade your software and your data storage as you grow, the cloud allows for gradual expansion and endless storage options
If your business has made it to 2022 without migrating to the cloud, now is the time to make the leap. We’re all operating in a fast-paced, hyper-competitive environment, with increasing pressures from globalisation, inflation, supply chain issues and shifting markets. It’s essential to use all the tools at your disposal to improve the way your business operates.
With fully integrated systems, a single source of the truth and remote access, the cloud offers a host of opportunities for efficiency gains and boosts to productivity. Your business can streamline workflows in a range of areas – from payroll and finance to inventory and ordering – and get real-time data to inform decision making.
Start your journey to the cloud and contact us today.