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Modernize your business with the cloud

Modernize your business with the cloud

Take advantage of the plethora of benefits available

Graeme Farquhar

“The cloud” means many things to many people.

For some, it’s using a mobile app such as email on a mobile phone.

But for others, it represents an opportunity to revolutionize how we do and run a business. Or as Microsoft calls it, a “great tectonic shift”.

In their paper “Designed to Disrupt”, Microsoft argues that computing is undergoing a “grand transformation” powered by exponential increases in computing capability.

They go on to assert that the original usefulness of computers, i.e. automating or speeding up previously manual tasks, while still extremely valuable, has now been massively outweighed by whole new ways of doing business, made possible by the cloud.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The cloud isn’t just a different way for businesses to make savings and gain new efficiencies.

It offers them almost unlimited opportunity to spawn whole new business models, to interact with customers in new ways, to manage customer service and delivery in real time and to gain unprecedented and deep insights into data in order to improve competitive positioning and process efficiency.

What’s more, besides these new paradigms of customer interaction, service delivery and data insights, the technologies which form part of this new infrastructure ecosystem can actually learn as they go, providing improvements and enhancements on the fly.

Far beyond a means to make cost savings then, the cloud offers a myriad of opportunities for “Software as a Service” applications – software that is paid for not out of capital expenditure, but out of operational budgets on a rental or “per seat” basis.

In these cases, operational and departmental software applications can be completely removed from the company-owned data centre, and instead deployed from the cloud. The attendant responsibilities for managing, updating and patching such software are shifted away from the traditional IT department, who can then work on higher value tasks.

What kind of software?

Most IT analysts would agree that the cloud (or more accurately cloud computing) represents the future for software. The notion of software applications residing only on specific end user devices seems – to many – already outmoded, as does the internal, on-premise data centre.

Applications such as Office 365, CRM, file sharing and collaboration, accounting and expenses, and even IT operations such as backup and patching systems, can now be housed and deployed in the cloud.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is a great example of this.

It’s aimed at empowering employees, nurturing team collaboration, changing the way that companies interact with their customers throughout the customer journey, transforming operational business processes such as sales, marketing and finance and even improving product and service delivery.

Of course, the same applies to the many software applications that are designed to operate and integrate with Business Central, such as Zetadocs.

In summary

The benefits of cloud computing are not confined to cost savings or flexibility of deployment alone. A wholesale transformation in the way businesses operate is underway.

A fourth industrial revolution.

The advent of the age where data can be available to anyone, anywhere at any time is made possible by the (literally) unlimited capacity that cloud computing offers, the incredible power of computers and data centres in the cloud, by cloud-optimized applications, networks and devices, and, of course by human ingenuity that constantly push the boundaries of efficiency.

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