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Procurement 12 April 2016
Cloud gazing: Why externally-hosted tech pays off
It?s certainly a trending technology topic for big corporates, but cloud deployment is not just for large businesses. Paul Carriero, EMEA managing director of software company Infor, explains what it can do for you. Though the trend has been more enthusiastically approached by managers in large enterprises, small companies actually have even more to gain from cloud deployment ? and consequently run a real risk of missing out by not going to the cloud. Micro firm owners typically work with a smaller budget and less manpower than their corporate counterparts, so saving time and money is even more critical to overall success. By moving to the cloud, entrepreneurs are almost guaranteed to save both time and money. The core of this is that the cloud means you don’t have to worry about maintaining systems, solutions or hardware ? pick the right provider and all that will be taken care of. But that’s not where the benefits ? and your scrutiny ? should end. There are five main areas where cloud deployment could make your micro firm more agile and prepared for growth. (1) Pay as you go Cloud deployment requires minimal upfront spending on hardware and software. You only pay for the capacity you use, which eliminates the need to cover the costs of expensive on-site data storage and management. All of which means that the business is spending less on technology infrastructure, so there is more money available to invest in growth. (2) IT on tap Cloud delivers immediate access to an IT department.? Micro firms rarely have in-house IT professionals, and if they do, those individuals won’t have to spend their entire day on updating servers, replacing hardware, managing software updates, so they’ll be free to concentrate on the mission critical tasks that facilitate growth. (3) Economies of scale Multiple users can access cloud-based resources at the same time, so individual productivity is enhanced, and businesses are then able to do more with fewer bodies. Thanks to the auto-scaling functionality within the cloud, a business can identify anticipated changes in user demand to secure the required hardware and software ? only as and when it is needed. As a result, a micro firm undergoing rapid growth can get new acquisitions, regions, or countries up and running quickly and cost-effectively. (4) Mobility The technology advances that cloud computing brings probably have the biggest impact on micro firms. To do business in a cloud-based environment, all that is needed is access to the internet, no matter where staff are or what device is available. This mobility allows the leaders in an organisation to make mission-critical decisions on the fly and in real-time based on real-time data. Employees have the mobile tools they need to collaborate with colleagues across regions and even countries. (5) Ease of use The beauty of migrating to the cloud is the total ease of use. Micro firm managers will have fewer upgrades to manage because the cloud provider will handle all of that, so the they remain able to focus on what matters most ? realising a faster time-to-market and ultimately growing the business. The benefits of flexibility, scalability, and agility inherent in cloud-based solutions are hard to deny, especially for a micro business. Business owners can reduce their technology overheads, empower a more productive workforce, and ultimately maintain a level of competitiveness that can’t be achieved with conventional IT. Paul Carriero is?president and managing director of Infor EMEA.