For businesses today, the decision to deploy cloud services no longer sits solely within the IT department. Having technology knowledge when it comes to getting the most from the cloud is not essential and more often than not, demand is coming from the business functions themselves who are realising the benefits that cloud based services could bring to their day-to-day operations. 

A recent report from Kronos surveyed 1,000 office workers in organisations with between 50 and 500 employees across the UK, Netherlands and Belgium. The research highlighted that those working at small and medium-sized businesses are aware of the benefits of cloud computing and are increasingly demanding it as an enabler of enterprise mobility and flexibility. The key statistic from the report was that 64 per cent of employees believed cloud applications were important in supporting their day-to-day work, while 83 per cent prefer cloud applications to those deployed on premise. It went on to find that on average, workers use six different cloud applications per month, which shows the popularity of this technology is continuing to rise among SMEs. 

[easy-tweet tweet=”64 per cent of employees believe cloud applications are important for day-to-day work” user=”comparethecloud”]

With this in mind, businesses need to consider the importance of providing a cloud solution, particularly for data hungry departments, such as, marketing and finance. Here the cloud provides real business value, not just IT efficiencies.

Flexibility for the finance department

A report prepared by CFO Research in collaboration with Google, highlighted that 64 per cent of finance executives said that after implementing a cloud solution, it reduced operational costs by up to 20 per cent within the company, with an additional 15 per cent anticipating that in the future operational costs could far exceed this. 

As well as the cost-saving, the survey highlighted that the finance department also understood the companywide agility and productivity the cloud could provide. 36 per cent of the respondents said their company’s move to the cloud was motivated by a need for greater flexibility and 35 per cent for improved productivity.

Cloud technology can also positively impact employee performance, as staff will have access to state of the art cloud applications, with the report showing 81 per cent of respondents believed a complete implementation of cloud-based systems would improve employee productivity as well as contribute to high-value activities such as corporate-strategy setting (68 per cent).

Marketing moves to digital

Marketing departments can also benefit hugely from cloud solutions. The technology helps to deliver timely campaigns and allows the department to communicate with others quickly and efficiently. According to Fourth Source, the biggest change within the marketing landscape is the transition from an en-masse broadcast call-to-action approach to a media-rich, real time custom messaging strategy. Within this department, the aim now is to use specific information to communicate more effectively to customers anytime, anywhere.

it is vital for companies to rely on the fastest computing performance available

With the increased use of video advertising, mobile apps and the development of the latest mobile technologies, cloud solutions now allow marketers to take advantage of these trends, as the amount of data being generated can be carefully scrutinised and analysed, to deliver the most engaging online campaigns. The approach for the marketing department is often focussed on speed and precision rather than creativity. Therefore, it is vital for companies to rely on the fastest computing performance available, to deliver timely communications and scale up or down as capacity is needed.

Data explosion

With businesses witnessing a data explosion, it’s not just large scale enterprises that need to ensure their data storage and management procedures are up to scratch. From creative departments, through to marketing and finance, the reliance on customer information and digital data is becoming more crucial than ever before. With cloud services providing the perfect solution for those SMEs lacking the necessary infrastructure in-house, a private cloud option can provide more control and confidence in the safety of data stored in the cloud, without the big-business price tag.

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Steve Belton is Head of Cloud Engineering and Co-founder of InstaCloud, a solution that provides a low risk, low cost option for small businesses keen to take advantage of private cloud technology. Since 2013, Steve has been crucial to the business with his technology strategy background and Microsoft expertise, which today brings InstaCloud to market. Steve has had a love for technology since the 1980’s, and in 2011 he fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a Senior Partner Technology Strategist at Microsoft. Prior to his time at Microsoft, Steve was Managed Hosting Director at Server Arcade. He initially co-founded the managed services hosting provider in 2008 and oversaw all technical elements of the business. Server Arcade was eventually acquired by Blue Square Data Group in April 2009. Once the acquisition was complete, Steve became Director of Managed and Virtual Hosting at Blue Square Data, developing and supporting the managed hosting business as well as creating a Hyper-V based virtual platform for sister company PoundHost Internet. Outside of work, Steve enjoys nothing more than spending his spare time with his children; mostly playing XBOX at their request.  When he has the time, Steve supports the Seattle Seahawks which he began following whilst at Microsoft.