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Improving processes with the cloud

Dominik Birgelen, CEO of oneclick, has some advice for those looking to harness the cloud to improve their operations

Every organisation has business challenges and roadblocks, whether that’s overcoming damaging industry stereotypes, financial implications or databreaches. However, when it comes to data management, businesses often struggle adopting the most effective process, for example having a mixture of on-premise systems, where data is stored within the organisations network, and off-premise, in which data is stored in the cloud. The goal is to get past these roadblocks to drive the business forward and prosper. A well-designed, cloud-based process modeling solution, can be a vehicle that enables positive change.

Every business has processes. Some are customer facing, some keep the back office running as efficiently as possible, and then there are others that join the front office and back office into a unified whole. Processes are, by their nature, repeated frequently. Understanding how those process really work, as opposed to how we hope they work, is the first step in being able to improve them.

Through adopting the cloud, everybody sees the same version of a process including subject matter experts who can collaborate on a single, easy-to-understand and easy-to-access model that is always up to date and contains all the details and documentation needed to fully understand the process.

 

Avoiding unnecessary hardware investment

The first area to consider when evaluating whether to move to the cloud, is the amount of expenditure the business currently spends on their hardware. On average, organisations replace their on-premise systems every five years, which means they will incur a multitude of upgrade costs to retire old services and, as a result, on-premise systems often require a great deal of investment.

On-premise systems, which are located physically on site, require manual checks and human input to upgrade each system. Such systems often need to be updated, which not only takes time to manually process and research, but requires downtime to process the update. This creates an unnecessary strain on businesses.

Cloud computing requires minimal expense on physical items such as hardware, therefore avoiding the expenditure of upgrading and repairing these items. It also does not need the same level of upgrades which can delay a company’s processes, thus saves the business crucial time. Through advising businesses to use off-premise systems to manage their data, the channel can ensure that organisations see a significant amount of savings of both time and expense.

 

Minimising electrical overheads

In contrast to standard computers and laptops, the average server within a business has a mixture of various components which increase both electrical and heat consumption, resulting in the need for extra cooling systems to maintain these components.

Cloud computing typically consumes less power and is much more efficient than having servers which require additional components to ensure their maintenance. Off-premise systems can completely utilise hardware and therefore require less power whilst also demanding less expense.

The additional infrastructure that would be required by a business has its own costs for maintenance, therefore businesses would see expenditure savings from the storage cost of DVD’s, pen drives, original software and data management.

 

Streamlining business processes

With the cloud, it becomes easier than ever to improve internal collaboration. Whether employees are based in the heart of Mexico, New York City, Zimbabwe or Moscow, migrating business files to the cloud allows these individuals to from all over the world to work together as if they were right next to each other. With the likes of file sharing with voice and video communications, businesses are essentially able to replace an entire office. By considering full-time remote working employees, business leaders are able to hire from a much larger pool of talent. With employees working effectively from just about anywhere in the world, the typical 50-mile employee search radius can be a thing of the past.

Staying in-house can seem to be cheaper than moving to the cloud when considering the monthly costs however, opting for cloud solutions may still be better in the long term. It is important to ensure that businesses have a complete knowledge of their processes in order to adopt the most suitable cloud option for any business. Process modeling in the cloud enables people who know the business best to lead change in improving every aspect of how the business operates.

There is still a reluctance to put data in the cloud. Often not because of sensitive data or security, but more for legal or contractual reasons. Price, flexibility and ease of management are the three main considerations when comparing on-premise versus cloud-based solutions. Afterall, when you eliminate the time-consuming and often unsecure process of sending files back and forth over email, a more streamline process is created. Efficient collaboration enables employees to access files from one central location and ultimately lead to an improved business.

The rise of low cost data storage, cloud and non-cloud, as well as the use of machine learning and other formally expensive services, now provided as low cost cloud services that can be rented at a low cost for several hours has resulted in cloud adoption becoming more popular than ever. Over the next 12 months, Gartner predicts a massive shift towards hybrid cloud, with 90% of companies set to run software on both on-premise and on virtualised cloud infrastructure. This suggests that businesses are starting to realise the benefits of migrating to the cloud and also having a certain level of their process in an on-premise system. The channel will play a vital role in ensuring that businesses successfully make this transition in order to optimise their processes.

 

This was last published in December 2018

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