From Apple’s brilliant campaign – “Think Different”.
Here’s to the crazy ones,
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
No, that’s not a typo. I really did say CFOs. If you haven’t already, go ahead and give your CFO a hug today. She’s probably the reason why your company is heading to the cloud.
You may not remember, but CFOs were among the early advocates of cloud computing. During the “great recession” of 2009, CFOs were looking for ways to whittle down costs and maximize existing resources. Many of them encouraged their IT leaders to evaluate cloud computing solutions for a couple of reasons:
- Top cloud service providers (CSPs) provide organizations with a “pay as they go” model. Companies engage the resources and expertise of cloud hosting experts, pay for what they use, and realize potential cost benefits throughout the year.
- In many cases, the cloud computing investments fall under OpEx, or Operational Expenditures. Payments for cloud services are made throughout the year which do not directly impact an organization’s balance sheet.
No wonder the cloud’s compound annual growth rate is five times faster than that of the overall technology market.
Need help calculating cloud computing costs? Read our blog post for more info.
Now that the U.S. economy is starting to show signs of life, organizations are looking at how they can leverage cloud computing solutions to put further distance between themselves and their competition. Here are some examples of how the cloud can help you gain a competitive edge.
Seamless Acquisition Integration
Sorry startups – this isn’t 2000, and not all of you are going to enjoy an outrageous IPO. However, you may be acquired by a cool company. If that does happen, a cloud solution can help IT access, store and monitor key data that is needed to seamlessly integrate your products into the acquiring company’s portfolio. You may not get to ring the bell at the NASDAQ. But you may end up with a larger, well-integrated company that offers its customers greater selection in a seamless, scalable environment.
Transparent Channel Operations
Customers expect you to “know them” regardless if they are on your website or in your brick-and-mortar location. Cloud solutions can help retailers eliminate silos among their online and physical locations by integrating customer data into a single platform that is easily accessed by sales, marketing, operations, and so forth. CFOs and CIOs like the fact that they don’t have to own and maintain servers required to support peak loads such as Black Friday or Super Bowl Sunday. So department stores can quickly sign up for more capacity the next time Duchess Kate is seen wearing a new dress and pizzerias can ramp up online orders during the Super Bowl. Not only are your customers happy, but your IT costs can potentially decrease. And you can consider opening that next location you’ve been talking about.
Streamlined Sales Processes
We’ve all seen it happen at our offices. It’s 3:00 pm on a Friday. And your superstar sales rep is pacing outside Legal’s offices; waiting for them to bless the contract he promised to deliver to his hot prospect by the end of the day. The prospect asked for a change at the last minute, and now the sales rep is scrambling to get it approved so he can head out the door with a new agreement in hand.
Organizations can leverage the cloud to streamline sales operations and help sales close deals faster. A custom cloud solution can foster a “sales social network” where sales executives can share tips, product news and battle cards with their teams. Sales teams can collaborate in real time with legal and finance to negotiate terms and update contracts. So that superstar sales rep can deliver on his promise to the new prospect. And the CFO can log another deal on the income sheet.
And that’s even better than a hug.