- How your business’s operational costs can be significantly lowered by moving to the cloud
- How Office 365 is enhancing team productivity and facilitating collaboration
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“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter Drucker
Technological advances have led us to reimagine how we work; impacting and ultimately changing the way entrepreneurs and businesses now operate.
When applied correctly, specific technologies can radically enhance productivity in ways that drive greater efficiency and ultimately profitability.
This productivity effect has been felt in multiple Caribbean industries in the Internet age including government organizations that now deliver services over the Internet, or small community groceries that have evolved to use automated inventory management and sophisticated point of sale systems.
Cloud technology presents a new frontier for many regional organizations.
While global businesses are aggressively pursuing the benefits of ever-evolving cloud technologies, in the Caribbean there are still questions about how quickly businesses here are adapting to some of these advancing technologies.
A World Bank report indicates that the Caribbean suffers from lower rates of digital technology adoption, and some Caribbean business leaders may be placing their companies at a disadvantage by ignoring the productivity and other gains on offer from some newer technologies.
Mark Dutz (World Bank Lead Economist of Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice) sums up what Caribbean business can look forward to with more proactive technology adoption highlighting that – “Companies can lower variable costs, expand production, reach more markets, make more money and in the process create more and better jobs.”
Caribbean business leaders who understand the opportunity for operational efficiency are increasingly eager to embrace cloud technology solutions if they can address some typical questions including:
Central to every business is its goal to increase profitability. However, a major expense typically incurred by many businesses is Information Technology (IT) services. With the arrival of cloud-based computing, businesses now have cost-saving solution options.
The Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) component of cloud computing delivered by services such as Microsoft Azure provides virtual computing infrastructure to any business.
In the past, a business would typically purchase the hardware or equipment and build their own infrastructure, however, cloud solutions like Azure provide remote access to infrastructure via an internet connection. That saves time and potentially lots and lots of money, while also enhancing flexibility since businesses gain the option of scaling down at any time if the amount of resources is no longer needed.
Another powerful cloud solution that can significantly enhance productivity for Caribbean organizations is Office 365 from Microsoft.
Office 365 is a great way for small and medium-sized organizations in the Caribbean to get started in the cloud and provides the promise of significant operational efficiency gains including lower costs, enhanced collaboration and more.
Utilizing Office 365, a Caribbean business can help its employees respond faster to customers; a move which can significantly improve customer service ratings. Additionally, using “Skype for Business”, Caribbean businesses can collaborate with team members distributed across territories to make crucial business decisions, eliminating flight and hotel accommodation costs. But that’s not all. To ensure mobility and productivity does not negatively impact security, businesses can also take advantage of the multi-layered security services offered within Office 365 and Office 365 Enterprise to protect against loss of intellectual property (eg. New product ideas, ad campaigns, etc).
A business’ success is reliant first on its leaders and secondly on its employees. Therefore, leaders must ensure that the infrastructure used is reliable, the solutions implemented are efficient and that technical problems can be resolved at the speed of light.
With limited IT staff and high costs of outsourcing the service, this can become difficult, particularly for distributed organizations. But with the right cloud solutions, businesses can gain a serious advantage. Solutions like Office 365 that focus on common employee applications like email, document management and collaboration, can create an instant positive impact for organizations seeking a productivity lift from the cloud.
At every level of business, security plays a crucial part in operations. With the aid of technology, businesses can focus on running the organisation rather than fight against both external and internal threats. Cloud-based solutions provide data encryption to businesses who want to limit visibility on sensitive data to key personnel.
Features such as document fingerprinting and facial recognition give an added level of security to the systems at the workplace. Today’s businesses serious about operational efficiency, productivity and growth, are implementing security software that makes certain sensitive information accessible only to the right people and is protected from theft and malicious hacks.
Achieving operational efficiency is ultimately the goal of a business’s leaders. The decision to embrace new technology that will facilitate this efficiency and growth is understandably a very important decision. Thankfully, there are technology companies in the Caribbean dedicated to providing guidance and support as businesses move toward a buy-in of the safe and productive-ever evolving cloud-based technologies.