From small organizations to large enterprises, every echelon of business seems to be talking about the cloud. Virtual tools bring key advantages to the enterprise computing environment, and it's critical for organizations to understand why they need to invest in cloud infrastructure.
According to the 2017 edition of RightScale's "State of the Cloud" Report, as much as 83 percent of small and medium-sized business workloads currently run through the cloud. In his analysis of that study, Forbes contributor Louis Columbus also noted that a full 38 percent of SMBs were actually "cloud-focused," meaning that they were fully mature in their cloud adoption. Only 7 percent of SMBs had no plans to move at least some of their environments to the cloud.
What do you need to know about the cloud before you get started deploying your virtual tools? Let's take a look:
"It's more cost-effective for small businesses to deploy cloud services."
What is the cloud?
Let's start with the basics. The cloud is such a popular technology, but what exactly is it, and how does it work? PC Magazine contributor Eric Griffith boils the cloud down to a simple definition:
"In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your computer's hard drive," Griffith wrote. "The cloud is just a metaphor for the internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats."
Essentially, when you invest in cloud solutions, the actual data and applications reside on someone else's physical server, which you are renting out space in. Normally, cloud deployments are paid for on a per-use basis, where you only have to invest in what you're using - which makes it usually more cost-effective for small businesses to deploy cloud services in the first place.
"Using data to predict trends is one way to create and maintain competitive advantage."
Key advantage: ERP integration
There are plenty of benefits of cloud computing. Added agility, greater collaboration between geographically disparate partners and greater flexibility in your computing environment are only a few. Cloud-based enterprise resource planning software is one of the most advantageous solutions that cloud computing offers.
Cloud-based ERP functions allow organizations to disseminate information across the entire scope of the business with little or no hassle. Because everyone is connected to the same internet - the same fluffy white cloud, to use Griffith's metaphor - it's easier to ensure every member of the company has access to the same customer and supply chain data. You know how important your customer and employee data is to the success of the organization. In the long run, using this data to predict trends and supply chain demands is one way to create and maintain competitive advantage in any industry.
For more information about ERP software and how the cloud could be the best option for your business, get in touch with the experts at ICS Support today.