Mark Woodhams, MD, EMEA at NetSuite, explains how to navigate the cloud landscape
Businesses adopting cloud is nothing new – it’s estimated that almost 80 percent of UK organisations now employ at least one cloud-based application.
That said, many business still use on-premise models. When applied to the ever-changing business world, which is rife with new technology challenges, organisations can struggle to understand where cloud fits into their way of working, and how to use it to their advantage – be it ROI, improved processes, or enabling employee productivity.
To help businesses navigate the cloud landscape more effectively and be aware of the common misconceptions which can throw up roadblocks to successful integration, look no further than these top tips:
1. Don’t follow the crowd
One of the biggest obstacles to navigating the cloud landscape is the hype around the different solutions available. The most effective way of avoiding this trap is to focus on deploying solutions that solve the biggest business challenges for you – too many businesses buy a particular cloud solution because it’s what everyone else is doing, but it’s vital to begin your search with the question ‘what does my business need?’
This can be potentially fatal – not only do businesses follow the crowd, they base their decisions on traditional purchase criteria checklists and only buy from approved software vendor lists. When you consider the fact that a company’s revenue stream in the next ten years could look entirely different, this seems like a backward way of thinking about business requirements! Don’t rely on ‘tried-and-tested’ – go back to your ‘ideal’ blueprint and think about other criteria that addresses the future of your company, not just the now.
3. Focus on what’s important
Now you’ve got your ideal cloud solution in mind, it’s time to open the floor up to stakeholders – ask them what capabilities they think could transform the way you currently do business? More often than not, they’ll come up with important additions that you may not have ever considered.
4. Cross-device is the way forward
Embrace Unified Communications – it’s the future! Every company should have some kind of mobile working solution in place, and a large proportion today do. Think about a unified approach for user experience and application design for every device, wherever those users might be and whatever device they might be using. This will help to streamline business processes and ensure that you are using the cloud to its full advantage.
5. Future-proof your tech
Not thinking about future problems and how you will address them is one of the most short-sighted mistakes businesses can make. Not only that, it can lead to re-implementation in years to come. By putting real thought into the cloud solution your company implements, you will be able to ensure that it solves the problems of the future, not just today.
It’s important to remember that when it comes to the cloud, there is no ‘one size fits all’. It depends on the specific needs of your business and how you want to be operating in the future, as well as today. Begin with the end in mind, embrace new ways of working and consider all the options out there, and you won’t go far wrong.