By Laura Wasson

Today everyone is talking about “the cloud,” put this in “the cloud,” send that to “the cloud,” but what does that mean for your business systems? There tends to be a more complicated perception of what moving your systems to “the cloud” entails when actually it is quite simple. Running your business systems through the cloud means that you are accessing and storing data and programs over the internet. By moving your business systems, such as your telephone or access control to the cloud, you are removing it from your physical location and relocating it to an offsite data center.

Business benefits of the cloud

In the past, everything was on its own proprietary network; computers resided on the data network, telephones lines lived on the public service switch network, and access control was accessed through a monitoring station along with fire and other life safety systems. Those once desperate systems became IP based, connecting through your business’s local area network. There are many benefits to the cloud. As a technology expert, here are my top reasons to use the cloud.

  • Cost benefits – When you move your business systems to the cloud there is always cost savings whether it is a hard or soft ROI. Depending on the size of your business you will see a different return on your investment. For example, small companies see an immediate hard ROI in a reduction of monthly cost and total cost of ownership. It allows owners to reserve their cash for larger projects and switch to an operational expense for technology purchases. The same goes for medium and enterprise businesses; however, depending on the number of devices, doors, etc. the monthly cost may remain the same or increase. The cost benefit comes from the productivity of your employees and the cost to manage and maintain your systems. The cloud also reduces your cost of overhead. Your staff is now outsourced to manage your systems. A big cost benefit is that your technology will never become obsolete, regardless of the size of your business. It is updated for you as part of the monthly fee. If you peel back the onion, there are always cost savings and a significant return, no matter how your company measures ROI.
  • Business continuity – Moving your systems to a cloud environment provides your business with an upgraded level of business continuity. In the cloud, the power never goes out and your systems lives in a secure data center with 24/7/365 proactive management and monitoring. Even if the internet connection related to your business is lost your business is still operational in a cloud environment.
  • Leveling the playing field – Although the cloud offers many benefits to businesses of all sizes, it does give an extra advantage to small businesses. Technology can be costly and traditionally, smaller businesses don’t have the monetary resources to purchase the on-premise systems that keep them competitive with larger companies. Now, small businesses can have the same technology as the “big guys” for a monthly fee.

As life becomes more of an application and our everyday wants and needs are taken care of by services, it only makes sense that our businesses follow that model. From a business value standpoint, the benefits of a cloud environment can be limitless.

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