You might not think that an education business, a grocery chain and an insurance company have much in common, but they’re all been transformed by the cloud. The cloud is, in many ways, like the new electricity. It’s a technology that can be deployed and made use of in practically any business situation. Just like grocery stores and education services need electricity to run their refrigerators and computers, both need the cloud to organise information.
Cloud computing is no longer a buzzword. Industry and investors are finally waking up to the fact that it’s a real thing that has real value outside of the marketing machinery of Silicon Valley. The cloud is allowing businesses to upscale in ways that were unimaginable in the past and at a fraction of the cost. What’s more, it’s multi-functional, meaning that it can be used for all sorts of different business processes, from marketing, to control, to speeding up processes to selling.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the examples of companies that have transformed themselves using the cloud. Take Delhaize, for instance, the parent company for a group of retail food stores. It started using cloud tools to measure the predicted impact of the weather on the sales of various product lines. Thanks to cloud technology, it is able to update its procurement systems in real time, dispatching the estimated number of a particular line required, given the weather (and a whole bunch of different variables).
Pearson, an education business has used the cloud to deliver better e-learning experiences for its customers. The company had been finding breaking into China and Southeast Asia challenging, but with the growth of cloud platforms, it’s now better able to measure student outcomes and sell its product. These cloud platforms give its customers added flexibility which they didn’t have before, allowing them to interact with courses no matter what device they are using.
Finally, the insurance company Hartford has made use of private hosting solutions to help provide additional predictive tools to its analysts. One of the problems in finance is knowing which products are suitable for which customers. Financial companies have to make sure that they only offer customers products they can afford. Cloud systems at Hartford are enabling their analysts to automate a lot of this process and predict which groups of customers will benefit most from particular products.
Moving to the cloud, however, isn’t always easy. As always, there’s a steep learning curve. Here is some advice from entrepreneurs who have moved their companies to the cloud.
#1: Make Sure You Have An Integration Plan
Moving to the cloud can be a hassle, especially if the people in your workplace are used to a particular system. As a result, it’s important that the existing IT system is seamlessly integrated into the new one. For instance, most businesses use legacy systems to support areas like finance and HR. However, the majority of new social media management apps are only accessible via the cloud. Connecting these together is a top priority.
According to Gartner, more than 70 percent of businesses will be using hybrid cloud technology this year. This could, they say, lead to data sharing issues.
#2: Bump Up Your Security
One of the reasons why Wizz Hosting now offers VPS is because of the increased demand for internet security. Cybercriminals are stealing business data at an ever-increasing rate, and it’s causing some businesses serious problems. Once details are taken, companies not only lose the trust of their customers, but they can also be prosecuted for not adequately protecting customer data.
In the early days, the cloud had a bit of a bad reputation when it came to security. But over the last couple of years, it’s proven itself to be more secure than regular legacy systems. The reason for this has to do with the fact that cloud systems are more heavily managed and maintained than traditional systems. Cloud service operators are able to monitor exactly what’s going on on their cloud services and intervene immediately if they see a problem. Operators of legacy systems, on the other hand, have to wait for something to go wrong before finding a solution.
#3: Put Your Energy Into Helping The Business Adjust
Staff and colleagues rarely like transitioning to new systems, especially if using those new systems has a steep learning curve. Work with your chief information officer on how to best implement new systems in a way that is least disruptive to workers. Then talk to all your stakeholders about why the system has changed and how it will benefit them.