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Cloud Expo: Article

The Cloud Advantage: Five Reasons Businesses Should Look Skyward

The shift to the cloud enables businesses both large and small to simply do more

The technology infrastructure of today's business landscape has undergone dramatic shifts in recent years. The consumerization of IT, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, and of course the cloud have revolutionized the way corporations manage data, complete transactions and communicate with employees and customers.

Organizations of all sizes are moving their document and email management needs to the cloud, with increasing numbers opting for a private cloud solution, a proprietary computing architecture that provides hosted services behind an organization's firewall.

The reasons organizations opt to streamline their technology by moving to the cloud may vary from firm to firm. If your company is on the fence, here are the top five reasons to take the leap and look skyward.

1. Built-in Business Continuity and Security
Servers stored in a locked room in a back office do not constitute a secure, reliable or redundant environment. Do you really think a lock and key is going to protect your most precious data from a natural disaster? How about a federal data security audit? A private cloud, on the other hand, ensures the physical security, redundancy of power and systems' integrity are kept to the utmost standards. This high level of security also ensures professional organizations are SEC, FINRA and HIPAA compliant.

2. Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
If you're a business, your goal is to make money. So why allocate IT budgets towards maintaining traditional on-premise, server-based systems that require an organization to purchase, maintain and upgrade servers, not to mention the software purchase and maintenance fees? To significantly lower TCO, enterprises need to look for a true cloud-based provider where there is no capital expenditure or heavy upfront cash outlay.

3. Automatic Updates
With on-premise systems, an enterprise is always playing catch-up. You are regularly required to upgrade to the latest version of the software, which leaves your business with outdated technology and limited functionality unless you purchase and install the latest version. By applying updates with additional features and functionality seamlessly throughout the year, private cloud solutions continuously and automatically improve the customer and user interface experience.

4. Quick Time-to-Value
On-premise management systems typically take many months to deploy and configure, delaying the time before the software can actually begin delivering value. In a number of hours, a private cloud can be installed with full customization tailored to the size of the company, vertical industry and specific need. With the service simply "turned on," companies can begin reaping the benefits and value immediately, instead of waiting to recoup the heavy upfront cost of a server-based system.

5. True Mobility and Multi-Office Support
In most on-premise systems, mobility and multi-office support requires additional servers, as well as many steps to gain access remotely (e.g., virtual logins, VPN tunnels, etc.). With a true cloud application, multiple office locations can access the service at anytime, anywhere and on any device, giving staff, clients and partners immediate access to needed content. It also enables teams to collaborate and effectively work together on a single document and email management platform in a way that is simply not possible with on-premise systems.

The shift to the cloud enables businesses both large and small to simply do more - more productivity, more mobility, more security and more functionality - with less - less cost, less hardware and a lot less hassle.

More Stories By Leonard Johnson

Leonard Johnson is a founding member and VP of Marketing and Product Management at NetDocuments. He has been involved with document management technologies for over 20 years. He was VP of International Sales and Marketing at SoftSolutions, International Marketing Directory at Novell, President of Graphite Microsystems in Europe and Assistant Controller for Kaypro Computers. He holds a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University and has written many articles for publications and spoken at various industry forums in over 25 countries throughout the world.

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