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Update your business' outdated IT technology with cloud computing

Cloud computing has done more than change the way we use technology—it’s overhauled entire business models. It’s transformed the ways in which technologies are delivered and made it possible to control things we’ve never been able to control.

Following the wave of moving on-premise solutions to the cloud, traditionalists are proving to be a bit skittish and paranoid. It’s time server-huggers face their fears, and get rid of common illusions, because the cloud isn’t going anywhere. When updating your outdated IT technology, there might be some things server huggers don’t want you to know. But these hidden facts are what make moving to the cloud a win. Follow these tips when navigating your decision—and stop being a server-hugger!


Do let go of your fears of no reliability

The fear that cloud-based business communication solutions are not as reliable as a private branch exchange (PBX) system creeps into the minds of server huggers today. The reality is, cloud-based systems are more reliable. For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit, many businesses were down because their PBX system was affected. Because cloud-based communication systems have more than one location, the change of one or more natural disasters affecting all locations is slim to none.

Do safeguard your data, while still keeping end-user happy

With the rise of the mobile worker, and the advent of BYOD, employees are using their smartphones and tablets to work on the road, with whichever apps and software they please. Users often shoot straight past IT rules and regulations, with little regard to or knowledge about security. Letting go of the server can mean gaining control over rogue employees and device thieves. When data is stored in the cloud, your IT department gains instant control over safeguarding information. Management of your entire system is now accessible, instead of micro-management of single devices.

Do expect your IT staff to innovate, not babysit

If you are dependent on a server, you’re also dependent on the IT staff that manages that server. From additional training and certification, to the added costs of competitive salaries of the staff running the show, servers are expensive. But perhaps the bigger cost is the innovation you’re forfeiting when you ask your staff to manager servers, instead of completing tasks—from building software to innovating business processes—they could be doing if they had more time on their hands.

Do use the cloud to be an early adopter

With a cloud-based communication system, users can continuously gain access to the newest and best available technology. Gone are the days where companies are forced to wait until the technology has been available long enough for the price to drop. With a lower cost to front-end deployment, and little cost for ongoing maintenance, IT departments find it easier to adopt new software, while keeping ROI at a maximum.


Do not assume you have no control

Just because you can’t touch cloud-deployed technologies, doesn’t mean you don’t have control. In fact, cloud-based communication systems allows for the management of your entire system from anywhere, opposed to only when you have the employee’s device in hand. It’s true that you may lose some control over highly technical things, such as software updates and OS management, however most IT departments do not need control over the miniscule details.

Do not assume IT personnel are communications experts

A very limited number of IT folks have a background in communication technologies, so IT departments must turn to the help of outside vendors for expertise. These outside vendors might be experts, but it’s impossible for them to be accessible 100% of the time for questions, concerns and real-time assistance. Cloud providers, on the other hand, have redundancy built in, which make them a much more viable option for businesses who cannot afford downtime (and who can afford downtime?).

Do not worry about justifying jobs

Many server huggers are worried if servers disappear they’ll have a difficult time justifying the work they do, or skill set they’ve built. This is false, as this same skillset can be applied to working with cloud technology. If anything, those with a technical background in managing servers are more qualified to understand the important details, and “why” behind moving to the cloud. With cloud technology, IT suddenly has the time to focus on the business users real needs and providing relevant solutions that have high impact on the growth of their businesses.

Do not assume costs are too high

It’s almost guaranteed the money you’ll save will outweigh the money you spend purchasing, operating and maintaining PBX systems. Approximately $6.5 billion is spent to replace PBX systems every year, and this does not even include installation and maintenance costs or the time lost learning to use them. Upwards of 300 pages, employees might spend more time reading PBX how-to manuals than learning about your business. Server huggers can rest assured that cloud would prove more cost-effective in the end.

Jumping cartoon

Outdated, on-premise hardware will eventually become a dinosaur, as IT continues to shift toward value-based services and more scalable, cost-effective environments. The cloud will continue to move the focus to the underlying infrastructure that is mission critical in today’s business environment. As the times continue to change, stop being a server hugger—cloud-based technologies can change the way you run your business by handing you greater flexibility and control, while requiring less money and time.

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Kira MakagonEVP of Innovation

Kira is a widely respected entrepreneur and cutting­edge expert on enterprise software who has spent the last 30 years building product management programs for a wide array of business applications, including CRM and relational database companie...

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