What’s the Advantage of the Cloud?
When we first talk with a new client, we’re often asked about the advantage of the cloud.
What’s so different about cloud compared to our current business software?
How’s the cloud better?
Why should we change?
Will moving to the cloud save us money?
That fact remains, to be competitive, you need to stay on top of market changes. This means everything from adjusting to customer expectations, to keeping pace with new technology.
The pace of business is changing. And sometimes it feels like change is changing even faster. Businesses simply cannot afford to lag behind. At the crux of it are your processes and tools. How you run your business and the framework you provide your team determines how well you can adapt and adjust to gain a competitive advantage.
We’re sure this is nothing you haven’t heard before. But the fact of the matter is that we see far too many clients running on software that does not actually support their business. Their teams are stressed. Their processes are broken. And at the base of it all is a business system that’s dated and lagging.
What’s the harm in a dated system?
The Problem with Traditional Business Software
According to Forrester Research, nearly half of businesses are running on a business management software that is two versions behind the current release, often four or more years old. Now that’s alarming.
How can you expect your business to grow when your business management software predates the first Apple Watch? Is that powering your business? Is that enabling you to remain competitive?
Version-locked business management software is an anchor. Legacy systems are simply not structured for today’s model of success.
Only 4% of IT leaders feel their business system offers a competitive advantage.
We can change that.
The Advantage of the Cloud
We could go on and on about all the ways to know it’s time for a new business management system. The internal pains and time-consuming processes. But the real advantage of cloud technology is its ability to be an advantage for your business.
One of the greatest things about the cloud is how easy it is to do system updates. Gone are the days when upgrading to the latest software version means crossing your fingers and hoping it doesn’t break a custom process. No more long hours for your IT department or extended system downtime because of updates and maintenance.
Updates in the cloud are seamless, and they can be done in a couple hours. This means, as the market continues to change, your business software is changing too. Most cloud business systems push out multiple releases every year, so you can feel confident that your tech has your back.
Lower IT Costs
This is a big one. Yes, cloud-based SaaS ERP solutions look more expensive. Paying per user, per month can be overwhelming if you’re used to the one-and-done traditional software model. The licensing costs of SaaS solutions can seem high at first. But when you factor in traditional IT costs, that factor starts to look a whole lot nicer.
We liken it to an iceberg. Roughly 75% of traditional software costs are “hidden below the surface.” It’s the infrastructure, servers, data storage, and maintenance that adds to the total cost of ownership (TCO). With the cloud, you no longer need to purchase and maintain servers, IT maintenance and patches are owned by the vendor, and updates are included in your regular monthly fee.
Agility, scalability, and mobility. These are a modern business’s differentiators, and cloud-based business systems fuel them all.
Being able to access your information from anywhere, across devices is a non-negotiable these days. Our world is mobile. Your business needs to be too.
It’s interesting how many businesses do not view their business management or financial software in the same way, though. There’s the idea that accounting systems are meant to be “internal.” But we disagree. Just because something is in the cloud, does not mean it’s a free-for-all. There’s still structure and protocol, only now you have flexibility. Cloud ERP enables your team to do more.
That’s another advantage of the cloud, it’s inherently built on productivity. Whether it’s a cloud ERP like NetSuite – or even Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce CRM. They all boast great, user-friendly mobile platforms. This means your team can work faster, easier, and smarter to better service your customers and grow your business. Which is, after all, their job.
If that’s not a competitive advantage of the cloud, we’re not sure what is.
There are a number of risks that come with dated systems. The largest being security. It’s ironic that cloud computing is often considered a security risk, when in fact, it’s significantly safer. That’s because an advantage of the cloud lies in its regular updates, including the latest security and network patches.
Running on dated software leaves your data vulnerable and your business at risk of being non-compliant on new regulations.