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Leveraging Cloud Solutions and Services
Too often overlooked, technology decisions in the early stages of a business’ life cycle can have notable implications down the road. These decisions can determine the degree to which businesses will manage their resources (like customer data, websites and phone systems) in-house for years to come. For many small businesses and companies in the start-up phase, having a team of IT professionals on hand isn’t ideal due to its cost implications. This opens the door to incorporating cloud-based, managed services. In this article, we examine three areas where adopting hosted solutions can be beneficial for small businesses and start-ups, not only in terms of cost implications, but also from an overall management perspective.
Data Security & Storage
Having more resources and a more specialized focus, cloud providers are often far more competitive and reliable than companies who prefer data storage on premise. Indeed, cloud technologies today do more than ever to ensure the security of their customers’ data, by providing tools and controls such as physical protection, advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, automated backup and access management controls. All these measures are designed to ensure that a company’s data will be just as safe, if not more, when managed from the cloud.
Opting for cloud outsourcing can also be beneficial in terms of storage capabilities. In the data-driven age of today, even smaller-sized businesses are encountering local storage issues. For many, overcoming these issues with on-site solutions – like data center expansions and colocation – is prohibitively expensive. Outsourcing to the cloud allows entire infrastructures to be transferred to third-party providers, giving smaller businesses a secure home for their data while also alleviating pressures on their IT staff and on-site equipment.
While it’s possible for small businesses to build a custom-made management platform in-house – or by hiring a developer, doing so can be costly and may lead to compatibility & compliance issues down the road in certain growth scenarios. Outsourcing management platforms like CRMs and PMSs allows businesses to tap into the latest software-based services and gather a rich blend of customer and employee data for a fraction of the cost of ‘traditional’ on-site platforms.
Telecommunications systems are a central component to any business communication strategy. In today’s age, many companies expect more from their telecom systems than analog phones alone can offer. Approaches which combine analog, VoIP and unified communications can be ideal from an ROI-perspective, but require a very broad skill set to implement and manage. Outsourcing to cloud solutions – like Dialexia ‘s own HERO hosted pbx software – lets small businesses focus on providing quality service rather than getting bogged down in connection and configuration issues. What’s more, reputable providers are constantly innovating to offer a range of cutting-edge features as they become available.
While cloud-hosting as a service is not as mature as traditional outsourcing, it presents more radical cost- and management advantages because it involves the automation of processes. By outsourcing data storage & securitization, telecom service, and management-platform development & maintenance to the cloud, small businesses can raise productivity across the board without increasing their expenses, leading to a much-improved bottom-line over the long term.