Can You Make Cost & Efficiency Savings With A Cloud-Based IT Strategy?
In insight / By Mark Flynn / 31 July 2018
As business leaders, your number one job in life is finding the rock stars and leadership talent to drive your business forward.
Once you've put together a great team, the smart business leader will then introduce a modern, flexible and collaborative cloud-based IT strategy and at the same time make some big cost and efficiency savings.
What Should a Cloud-based IT Strategy Look Like?
When you adopt a cloud based approach to working, you no longer own any servers. All your data is in the cloud and the only physical kit you have is your laptop, smartphone and wi-fi network. On your laptop or smartphone, you’ll have a common set of apps to provide access to your cloud based-business applications and collaboration tools, similar to the following:
A SaaS based subscription license to your business systems which will be hosted by your chosen vendors, these might include for example your CRM and Accounting systems.
Office 365 will be a core application suite for your Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps which you can run on your PC, iPad and smartphone.
All your files will live in Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint with absolutely no file servers in your office. You’ll be able to seamlessly work on these files in the office or equally work on them offline on your iPad as you travel.
For all your communications and collaboration, you'll use Microsoft Skype for Business or Teams for instant messaging, video and voice conferencing and quickly spin up new project teams to easily share files, content and chat around an individual project.
Everyone will be issued with a quality bluetooth headset so that you can take or make calls from your laptop in the office or if he or she is on the road to seamlessly take the same calls on a smartphone.
Finally for the business leaders, you’ll have PowerBI dashboards for team leaders and business owners to view how their sales consultants are performing, the call volumes they are making, deals closing out and their business KPIs.
So why does your business need to take this path? In my opinion, the drive to move to a cloud based digital workplace is strong for three key reasons.
Firstly, we are seeing a general blurring of the so called work-life balance, your people want the kind of lifestyle that they can work from anywhere, whatever hour and especially from home to avoid the daily commuting grind.
In my experience, this is having a major impact on employee loyalty because it means that the demands of the business fit in with the type of lifestyle the modern worker wants.
Secondly, it will provide your business with the flexibility to open new international offices much quicker. A new starter that you’ve parachuted in to set-up a new office in, for example, Australia could source their own laptop locally and have it set-up quickly using Microsoft Auto Pilot to deliver the standard build everyone else has across the business.
Finally, it will deliver a great return on investment because you can reduce the amount of expensive city based office space you need. Now your people could work from client sites, from home or from a coffee shop, together with their colleagues and clients.