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Moving Your Business to the Cloud

September 26, 2022

Moving to the cloud is a great way to optimise your business operations and stay competitive in this modern, digital landscape. Many systems that have traditionally been only available as on-premise solutions can now be hosted in the cloud, offering access to this powerful technology and making advanced business management systems more accessible for smaller businesses.

So what exactly is the cloud? And what are the benefits of moving your business onto it? We will answer those questions in this post, and also offer some tips for making the move.

 

What is the cloud?

 

When we use the term ‘the cloud’, we are referring to servers that are accessed via the internet, along with the databases and software that run on those servers. Cloud servers are situated in data centres around the world, and they make a fantastic alternative to investing in and managing physical servers on your premises, or running software applications on your own machines.

By accessing the cloud, users can interact with the same applications and files from virtually any internet-enabled device. Chances are you are already using things like cloud email and cloud storage solutions to send and receive files and other types of content. This same principle can be applied to entire systems used to operate your business.

Migrating to the cloud can remove many of the costs associated with having your own servers, hardware and software. It also removes the ongoing burden of configuring, managing and updating those systems yourself. This makes it easier for smaller businesses to access the most powerful solutions, and also for companies to operate internationally and offer remote working capabilities for their staff.

Cloud computing enables the following services:

 

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): software and applications hosted on cloud servers can be accessed via the internet with a subscription, enabling you to utilise those solutions without any on-site infrastructure.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): in this model, you pay for the things you need to build applications. This means development tools, infrastructure and operating systems, all accessed over the internet.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): this is where you rent servers and storage from a cloud provider which you can then use to build your applications, but you must utilise your own development tools.

 

How does cloud computing work?

 

The key to cloud technology is virtualisation. You access a simulated, digital-only ‘virtual machine’, which behaves like a computer with its own hardware. Virtual machines on a single host are sandboxed from one another, meaning all the files and applications from one virtual machine are not visible to other virtual machines, even though they are all stored on the same physical machine.

Essentially, through the internet, you get to access a share of the physical machine in the form of your own virtual computer that you can connect to from any device and any location. With robust hardware, cloud vendors can ensure their services are accessible at all times and it all costs a fraction of having your own physical machines to store and run everything from.

 

What business processes can be moved to the cloud?

 

There are many business processes that can be accessed through the cloud to take advantage of the benefits. The following are just a few examples of the many software solutions that can be moved to the cloud to make your business more efficient and profitable.

 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

This comprehensive, centralised approach to business process management can cover so many disparate arms of a business, including finance, accounting, supply chain, human resources and more. By bringing all these things together, you can take advantage of powerful automation and data analytics, and generally transform your business into a more unified entity rather than a disconnected operation with multiple data silos and little cohesion.

On-premises ERP can be costly, complex and time-consuming to implement and manage. There are some incredible cloud-based versions of the solutions available now such as NetSuite, delivering all of the advantages of ERP with far less cost and work to implement and manage the system.

 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The leading CRM solutions make it possible to analyse customer data efficiently and deliver high-quality, tailored experiences alongside superb customer service. This can improve your sales, marketing and lead to increased revenue, but on-premises solutions require custom integrations with other software and lots of infrastructure to get off the ground.

By taking advantage of cloud-based CRM, you can access all the power of the software at only a fraction of the cost. You also sidestep all the complicated and costly hardware, software and IT management without any sacrifices to the efficacy of your solution.

 

Collaborative software

In a world where remote workers are increasingly integral to a successful company, you need to provide ways to enable disconnected workers to collaborate effectively. There are many cloud-based solutions that can do this far more effectively than simple telephone calls, emails and video conferencing solutions.

In fact, these cloud-based digital workplaces integrate all those things and much, much more for a full suite of collaborative tools and resources to keep your remote workers connected.

 

What are the benefits of moving to the cloud?

 

There are various benefits of moving business operations to the cloud, including:

 

  • Cost savings: using cloud-based systems means you don’t need to invest in hardware and software to host on-site. You also don’t need to pay an IT team for all the customisations, integrations and general management of systems, and your energy bills will not be pushed sky-high by the need to power machinery round the clock.
  • Security: with cloud-based solutions, you get the advantage of state-of-the-art digital and physical security for all your systems and data, and you don’t have to worry about managing any of it yourself.
  • Greater efficiency: with access to the latest automation technology, robust collaboration tools and unified systems, along with enormous data storage and analytics, your operations can be far more efficient.
  • Simplicity: cloud computing takes all the complexity out of your hands and provides out-of-the-box solutions that are customisable and maintained remotely. This means you can focus on running your business and being as profitable as possible without being bogged down by countless headaches when managing your business systems.

 

Tips for moving your business to the cloud

 

If you plan to migrate all or part of your workload to the cloud, it’s important to do it the right way. Here are some tips for making that migration a success:

 

1. Familiarise yourself with the terminology involved in cloud computing.

 

2. Have a good understanding of what you want from your solution so that you implement the correct systems.

 

3. Commit – the cloud vendors are going to become part of your company and their products will be integral to the way customers perceive your brand. Be prepared to work as a partnership and keep working together for the long haul.

 

4. Be goal-oriented to help you choose the right services and be sure the service provider knows what you wish to achieve.

 

5. Security is paramount, so be strategic in identifying the potential threats you could face in order to ensure your security is ready to withstand them.

 

6. Consider hybrid solutions if you already have in-house systems. That way, you can retain full control over what is already working well for you and only migrate things to the cloud that will benefit from it.

 

7. Look for training and take support where it is available. Your employees will need to be well-versed in the new systems, and you will too! Take advantage of the resources and support available to keep on top of the new cloud-based systems.

 

8. Work with a good implementation partner where necessary. More complex cloud solutions like ERP and CRM will need to be customised to meet your specific needs and n expert implementation partner with a strong record of success can be instrumental in making this happen for you.

 

Why choose Eventura for your ERP project?

 

Eventura have been helping businesses in their digital transformation journey for two decades. From the implementation of industry-leading ERP solutions such as Sage 200 and NetSuite, to helping them move their entire operations to the cloud and away from costly and restrictive on-premise solutions.

As well as being NetSuite Solution Providers, Sage 200 Partners and Microsoft Gold Partners, we also offer a wide range of managed IT services, meaning we can take your business as a whole and help it achieve digital transformation.

If you would like to speak to one of our experts, you can request a free call back here.

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