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Unwrap the gift of cloud technology this holiday season

Unwrap the gift of cloud technology this holiday season 

Fear not: even better than the real thing, “Santa Cloud” has arrived, carrying a much-anticipated bag of gifts to bring holiday cheer to your business this festive season.

Whether organisations are moving to a cloud infrastructure, using cloud-based software or storing files in the cloud, many are using some aspects of this beneficial technology. According to a 2017 Scalar Decisions survey, nearly three quarters of Canadian companies are using the cloud for some of their IT delivery, up 14 per cent from 2016.Worldwide public cloud services’ revenues are expected to grow 18.5 per cent in 2017 to a total $260bn, up from $219.6bn last year, and according to Gartner, there are a few reasons that companies are increasingly turning to the cloud.

Let’s look at five benefits that cloud-based technology can bring to your business at peak times like the holiday period.

Cloud benefit #1: Easy collaboration

Cloud technology encourages collaboration, making it easy for people around the globe to connect, communicate and share information to work together more effectively. It’s simple to store, view and edit information in one central location, and documents are updated in real time. Everyone’s kept in the loop and colleagues can ‘meet’ virtually, no matter where they are in the world.

Better collaboration brings a heap of benefits to the table, including boosted productivity, improved customer service and engaged and enthusiastic employees.

Cloud benefit #2: Happy employees

It’s not always easy to keep employees focused and productive around the holiday period. In sectors such as retail, food and distribution, the holidays are the busiest time of year. And according to a 2017 Angus Reid survey, Canadian holiday shoppers are expected to spend an average of $950 each on holiday gifts and entertaining, up 8 per cent from last year. This upturn in business, combined with social pressures on employees to fulfil additional demands around the holidays, means it can be challenging to stay on top of work.

Cloud-based technology makes it easy for employees to work flexibly, with people able to log on, access, share and edit information from anywhere – even on the go. With most cloud services offering mobile apps, it’s easy to work from any device. Everyone can keep up to date, including sales staff, remote workers and those who need a bit more flexibility at this time of year.

During the holiday season, being able to work flexibly helps employees enjoy a positive work-life balance, without negatively impacting productivity.

Cloud benefit #3: Better productivity and flexibility

If your business has peak times or staffing needs that are always changing, you can benefit from the flexibility that the cloud offers. It’s easy to scale cloud services up or down, depending on the need. This means you can temporarily increase capacity to handle busy periods like Christmas, without having to shell out additional funds for hardware or software that wouldn’t be utilized during quieter times.

Research shows that unleashing business builders from burdensome admin could unlock over $600 billion in lost productivity, and save businesses an average of 120 working days per year.

In addition, cloud-based software allows all the latest updates to be available to users immediately. Instant upgrades provide employees with new features and functions sooner, making them more productive.   

Cloud benefit #4: Improved data security

During busy times, the last thing a business needs is for their technology to fail them. Downtime can lead to all kinds of problems, including reduced efficiency, lost revenue and reputational issues. A reputable cloud provider should maintain reliable, secure services, giving you peace of mind that all your data is secure, safe and recoverable, no matter what happens. It’s easily accessible from anywhere and on any device. And if something does go wrong, a cloud host should resolve issues quickly, getting you back up and running with plenty of time to spare for celebrating with co-workers at the office holiday party.

Cloud technology can also resolve the chaos of having documents and data stored in different formats and on personal drives and devices. This has the potential to cause mass confusion and security issues, not to mention lots of unnecessary stress. Storing data and documents in one place in the cloud means everyone’s accessing the same, up-to-date, authorised information, leading to less human error and a clear record of updates.

Cloud benefit #5: A business boost

Sage Business Cloud is a one-stop cloud solution to manage your business needs, and goes beyond accounting to include an array of products and services that help you grow your business. An important business-building benefit of working in the cloud is increased agility, providing business builders the ability to scale operations up or down to meet demand, and allowing businesses to take full advantage of peaks in the market without significant costs. With streamlined processes and more engaged, productive employees, you’ll be able to connect and collaborate from around the world, and gain a real competitive advantage, just in time for the holidays.

So, there you have it. Let the cloud make sure that ‘tis indeed the season to be jolly – for customers, employees and business owners alike. For more information on how cloud solutions can help your business, click here.

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