Head In The Clouds: 3 Ways cloud file-sharing can boost productivity

Cloud computing

Why distributing documents via the Cloud is a boon for your business

When it comes to modern technology, many organisations have their heads stuck in the sand.

Especially when it comes to things like the Cloud.

According to Small Business Trends, 84% of businesses still rely on manual, paper-based, and outdated digital processes. For some? It’s because keeping pace can be difficult. Advances in software, hardware, and mobile devices come and go daily. For others? It seems they’ve checked out of the race entirely.

The stats make it clear that many organisations are yet to embrace the benefits of newer technology. It’s easy to ignore the advances beyond your four walls – or above the roof, so to speak – but if you want to maximise productivity, it’s time to revisit the Cloud.

What is the Cloud?

Broadly speaking, the Cloud is a term that covers anything that is not local computing.

At its heart, it simply means storing and accessing data via the internet.

This includes:

  • Software as a Service
    SaaS is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. This gives you access to software that is always up-to-date and doesn’t need to be continuously upgraded or swapped out for ‘the next big thing’.
  • Platform as a Service
    PaaS provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure themselves.
  • Infrastructure as a Service
    IaaS is internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand.

Ignorance is bliss costly

Cloud-based tools are nothing new. They’ve been taken for granted by businesses and individual users alike in recent years as they’ve become more ubiquitous in the boardroom, workplace, or on the salesroom floor.

Up until recently, countries like New Zealand have seen substantial cost blowouts in the public and private sector in implementing new computer systems. So it’s only natural that questions would arise around the expected return on investments in Cloud computing.

The problem is, many of the questions being asked today are outdated, especially in this modern, connected era. Integrated, Cloud-based solutions have come a long way in recent years, but the assumptions about their benefits are still based on an old way of thinking.

Business as usual is bad business

Up until recently, many studies suggested that an increase in IT spending didn’t necessarily increase organisational productivity or workflow. These observations are deeply flawed, in that they are often couched in terms such as Return on Investment or Total Cost of Ownership.

To operate without the Cloud is to pass up huge time and operational savings.

The cost of not? It’s staggering:

Did you know?

  • McKinsey & Company found that employees spend an average of 9.3 hours per week searching for – and gathering – information (Source).
  • CIO discovered that an average of $14,000 worth of productivity is lost per year, per worker due to their inability to find the proper data they require for the job at hand (Source).
  • A report from the American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC) found that outdated, legacy systems across federal agencies ate up around 75% of operations and maintenance funding (Source).

The Cloud has been around long enough now that it’s time to step back and evaluate its benefits.

What you find might well surprise you.

The competitive advantages will have you floating on Cloud nine

The benefits offered by the Cloud

Today’s numbers show that the Cloud is increasingly associated with boosts in productivity.

The reason? It’s simple. Cloud computing is different from the costly IT systems and resulting support infrastructure of the past because it is the ultimate shared resource. With a comprehensive platform at your fingertips, it’s easy to manage and securely distribute data. Plus, the reliability of a transparent licensing model makes it that much more straightforward to control costs.

The fact that Government is now starting to move data into the Cloud is just another vote of confidence in the benefits on offer. And they’re not the only ones. According to a report by m-hance, the majority of businesses they surveyed “have adopted some form of cloud solution or hosted service in an effort to simplify their daily tasks, lower costs and give employees always-on access to information and applications.”

When you take a look at some of the advantages below, it’s easy to see why:

1. It’s easy to set up, and even easier to manage

Cloud-based services usually require no management personnel, and often run at close to 100 percent up-time. Amazon Web Services (AWS) started in 2002, and since that time AWS and other Cloud providers such as Microsoft and Google have continued to develop their technology to make it more powerful and reliable (high profile outages such as the one that struck Amazon in March 2018 notwithstanding).

So what does this mean for you and your organisation? It means the staffing component of using the Cloud is more like maintaining a phone system than a computer network. It’s usually ‘plug-and-play’, which means staff can spend more time doing what they’re good at and less time maintaining or working with unreliable systems.

m-hance found that 80% of those surveyed said “they’re saving money, seeing more productivity, and better security,” as a result of using a Cloud approach (Source).


2. It’s future-proof, and continuously updated

In addition to this, you receive constant hardware and software upgrades when working with the Cloud. Unlike standard on-site equipment or software packages, you don’t need to purchase new versions every year or commit to yearly upgrades. You can work freely without struggling with old or ageing hardware that makes accessing, editing, or sharing files and information a complicated, time-consuming process.

According to Trackvia, “59% of companies that use the cloud are more likely to see productivity benefits.” (Source).


3. It’s easy to collaborate with access anywhere, anytime, on any device

As organisations continue to decentralise, Cloud-based platforms are redefining the way they operate. The resulting need for a comprehensive tool-set that brings staff, board members, and sales teams together only increases, whether someone is working remotely or while on-the-move.

With the right platform, organisations can now access information anytime, anywhere, on any device, freeing up staff and management alike to work at their best with everything accessible with the touch of a button or tap of a screen.

A Forbes Insight Survey found that “58% of total respondents report that Cloud-based collaboration has the potential to improve business processes”, while 64% said that “Cloud-based collaboration tools help businesses execute faster than would be possible otherwise.” (Source).


It’s time to send your productivity sky-high

Stellar has been a massive proponent of the power of the Cloud since the beginning, which is why it’s exciting to see more organisations embracing the technology.

Achieving these kinds of improvements in productivity and workflow was once a mere dream, but with the power and reliability of today’s Cloud infrastructure, it’s a reality.


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