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July 29, 2011
By Arnaud Gautier

What Can the Cloud do for You? (Part 1)

Are you one of the many executives asking your IT staff: Does it make sense to move to the cloud?

If you’re reading up on cloud computing, you may think that every single business on the planet is already there. But that isn’t close to the truth. In fact, scarcely more than one-fifth of the top tech companies these days are deploying cloud computing for core business purposes, according to a recent survey from PA Consulting Group and Harvey Nash.

That said, the cloud can do much good for organizations today. It can make a business more agile while saving significant costs on the ownership/operations of technology. It can simplify once-complex IT acquisitions processes to the point where essential solutions can be obtained with the swipe of a credit card. It allows companies to customize their infrastructure/applications to fit their needs, as opposed to having a tech vendor dictate a pre-determined, cookie-cutter “plan” for them.

For the purposes of this two-part blog, we’ll further break it down these advantages as follows:

  1. The cloud can give you what you need.
  2. It can protect what you already have.

This week, we’ll focus on what the cloud can offer your organization. Let’s say your company isn’t yet the size of a large-scale enterprise. You may have 100 employees or more (or less) but you can’t dedicate an entire department of a dozen or more staffers to your IT infrastructure. Indeed, most of your personnel must focus on core competencies of your business. All of which keeps your IT team rather small. This kind of team should strongly consider cloud-based options, because it does not demand the manpower or expertise needed to drive mission-critical, strategic objectives in today’s world.

Hosted services delivered via the cloud offer meaningful value to this kind of business owner. After all, does it make sense to drive up your operational costs – and divert available in-house staffing from core competencies – by attempting to manage services such as voice and data communications internally?

At MegaPath, for example, we offer Hosted Voice to take this off the hands of our customers. If you have one location, four or six, it really doesn’t matter. Just tell us where you are and we provide the equipment, phones, client software and calling features you need for seamless, crystal-clear voice and data communications, with no PBX equipment to buy or lease. If your employees are on the go, or if you’re constantly expanding locations, you can take advantage of features such as Remote Office, Office Anywhere, Voicemail as Email and Find Me/Follow Me. Essentially, these features help deliver for the mobile worker the same kind of highly utilitarian communications experience as that of a “telecommute” employee.

Also, if you need to add another location with more employees and phones, Hosted Voice ensures that you can scale voice/data accordingly, again, with no need to add a PBX phone system there.

There’s no need to involve your IT folks on the setup and oversight of such a system. After all, you didn’t hire anyone who specializes in voice/data solutions, correct? So why would you expect them to command this level of authority in this tech niche now?

When the advantages are defined this clearly, it’s obvious as to why there’s such a high level of interest in cloud computing deployments. And there’s more too: Next week, I’ll discuss how the cloud plays a critical role in protecting the information-based assets of your business.

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