April 16, 2012
In recent months, there has been increasing evidence to suggest the global economy is improving. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently reported that the Small Business Optimism Index, a measure of how confident small business owners feel in regard to their financial futures, rose for six consecutive months, before finally dropping slightly in March. More notably, 44 percent of surveyed business owners indicated that they hired or attempted to hire new employees in the last three months. Overall, more hiring was done in March than any other month in the past year.
As businesses continue to grow and expand, they will inevitably face a variety of challenges. To improve the efficiency of this process, Kevin Jenson, writing for Hostway, recently argued that companies considering expanding should look to the cloud.
Jenson spoke to Zach Nelson, CEO of a company specializing in integrated infrastructure solutions, the cloud offers significant advantages regarding scalability, which plays a major role in a business' ability to expand and relocate, especially when the company opens a branch in another country. According to Nelson, the cloud can help businesses establish finance infrastructure and an IT system that allow offices to open in a matter of weeks, whereas opening a new branch without the cloud may take months.
To reinforce this point, he cited the example of Groupon, the successful coupon company. When it came time to expand, Groupon used cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP), which enabled the company to ensure compliance and access to its corporate network at all new locations without the costly, time-consuming installation of hardware.
Groupon currently offers services in more than 40 countries, a feat achieved thanks to its cloud-based IT system, according to Jenson.
The value of scalability for a business was recently further emphasized by Laura Stotler. Writing for MSP News, Stotler argues that the increasing use of mobile devices for business purposes is placing heavy demands on IT departments to provide high levels of accessibility and flexibility. However, many IT departments do not have the budgets or abilities to develop on-site solutions.
By using the cloud, though, organizations can easily adjust their service plans as needed, without having to purchase and install additional hardware. Regardless of the business' geographic location, cloud service providers can meet its operational demands.
However, it is important to note that organizations should not assume that utilizing cloud vendors will solve every issue involved in a business' expansion. Specifically, security-related issues will almost certainly pop up as the transition to the cloud is made. This means that organizations should consider investing in cloud security software and other cybersecurity measures.
-McAfee Cloud Security