Cloud is no longer just the puffy thing you see in the sky. It has descended upon us to become a technological marvel. In five years time, the billion dollar cloud industry is set to grow by six-folds.
There must be great reasons behind the incredibly warm reception. Cloud computing has unlocked its potential to disrupt the tech sphere and begin transformations in the industry. Consumers growing interest in buying online is a ripple effect of cloud.
Cloud brings flexibility, cost savings, better customer relationship management, boost collaboration, beef up data security and bolster a small to medium scale enterprise’s competitive advantage vs the big names in the industry. If you look at all these benefits, it somewhat create a near-perfect setting. Cloud 9, it is.
So, how do you precipitate rain of benefits from the cloud? Here are 10 ways.
Top 10 Ways To Utilize Cloud Hosting
1. Squeezing the “big” out of big data
For the longest time, brick and mortar retailers have invested very little on IT. A generous chunk of the budget goes to manufacturing and advertising side. Cloud empowers retailers to access data that can help them better understand their customers. A little boost in IT investment can go a long way.
You are not turning the stalker mode on. No. You will tap cloud to gather information from social networks and learn what customers are saying about your brand.
Some can place sensors and track movements within the stores – how many stops did the customer make in a specific rack or displays? From here, you can get patterns on which merchandise is getting fair amount of traction. Which ones are not?
2. Globalize your brand
You may have been constrained to specific geographies before because of budget. Thank heavens for cloud you can now showcase your brand globally. Instead of deploying physical IT infrastructures in a city or country, everything will run virtually.
3. Experiment on telecommuting
If you have been in the business for a good number of years and have not tried implementing work-from-home option, this may be the best time. Cloud computing makes it possible for employees to tap into the company resources even at home or when travelling. There would be no more excuses for not accomplishing the job even when they cannot be physically present at work.
4. Wear the collaborative mindset
One of the qualities that Google looks for a potential hire is the mentality of a “teamworker”. They want a person who is eager to collaborate and agile enough to work with a number of equally gifted individuals.
The principle of collaboration is what cloud hosting supports. Certain applications are created to enable colleagues to work on a project even if they are not physically together. They can share files and photos, and chat with each other anywhere, anytime. They can also blast everyone of “Eureka” moments that could be extremely valuable to the team.
5. Secure proprietary information
In today’s business, any leakage of information could be devastating to a company. Take the competition in the mobile space for example. People are always dying in anticipation of what the next iPhone would look like or how intuitive will the new Samsung Galaxy be.
Any leakage prior to the actual launch can hurt their chance to sell more. Worse, a prototype going in the hands of a wrong guy because of a lost laptop can menace a possible breakthrough product development. With cloud, employees will no longer store information in their laptops. Instead, they will make use of cloud-based (internet-based app) as data storage.
6. Make field trips less stressful
For businesses that send employees on the field, you no longer have to rely on updates through calls or SMS on their whereabouts. Cloud makes it easier for you to track their whereabouts, how much more fuel they need to reach their destination and if there are hazards along the way.
7. Make smarter decisions wherever you are
Armed with just a mobile phone, you can clinch wise decisions. You can turn your smartphone into a supercomputer running on the cloud to analyze specific set of information you have on hand.
With cloud, you can stream stock market feeds, latest news, weather update, social sentiments and political scenes. These insights combined together will potentially help you come up with a good decision within certain circumstances.
8. Penetrate online selling with “freemiums”
Whether you like it or not, more and more people will get lured to making purchases online. You need cloud hosting to power your niche, big or small. You can also introduce “freemiums” from time to time.
Freemiums are free trial versions, which can make the customer pay for premium service when they love what they experienced during the trial period.
9. Secure platform to transact with suppliers
There is this thing called community cloud that gives clients and suppliers the opportunity to communicate and perform activities in a secured platform. Additional orders or delay in deliveries can be coordinated in a speed of light.
10. Dissolve language barriers
Imagine transacting with a customer that only speaks German. In a cloud-hosted platform, a reliable translation can happen in order for you to understand each other.
Ultimately, cloud computing helps you tremendously improve customer experience. For a business, it is arguably the most important thing in the world. If you are too scared to take a step further and adopt cloud computing, you are at risk falling behind the competition.
Your Take, Your Turn!
We have officially entered the cloud era. Do you think that enterprises should put their guards down and gamble on cloud hosting? What are your apprehensions?
We would like to hear your screaming thoughts. Share your comments below.
About the author: A technology enthusiast, Adam Prattler reviews and shares the latest in fully managed servers and cloud hosting through his interactive blogs.