Is your infrastructure future-proof?

Thursday, 29 November 2018

The world of business is changing fast, as is the way we work. For a business to stay ahead of the competition, time should be spent thinking and planning for the future. Technologies are also developing fast, and businesses need to embrace them, or risk being left behind.

Here are some points to consider:

  • New ways of working: Work is no longer confined to an office desk, 9-5. Nowadays, many people undertake work on the move, outside of routine hours, or away from the office. The terms agile, mobile, remote and homeworking have become part of our everyday vocabulary.
  • Customer communication: Customers can contact a business via many different channels of communication: email, phone, instant message, web chat and social media. Businesses need to update customer information, regardless of how that customer gets in touch.
  • Data Security: Tougher legislation has been introduced, governing how data is handled and stored. A breach in security could not only be damaging to reputation but could result in a hefty fine too.
  • Changing needs:A business may enjoy a period of rapid growth (and subsequent increase in capacity demand) or could experience the need to scale-back or change direction. Lack of flexibility could hold the business back.
  • Business Focus: Most business owners understand the need for their team to be focussed on growth and development. They may choose to outsource tasks that are beyond their area of expertise or would be a drain on resources if undertaken in-house.
Cloud computing and telephony are revolutionising the way businesses operate. They offer flexibility and the reassurance that your organisation is ready for the future. Here are 5 key ways that migrating to the cloud can address the above business needs:

#1 - Mobile working
Employees working away from the office will need a suitable device (laptop, tablet or smartphone). They may require connection to the company network, in order to access the information and data needed for the task at hand.

Mobile working can increase the security risk to a business, due to access of data through a public, unprotected network, such as the Internet. Cloud telephony systems protect the business from a potential data or security breach, with the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

#2 - Keeping track of customer contact
Cloud telephony is a multimedia system, which unifies the communication channels your customers use to contact you. It can handle voice, data, video and instant messaging using a secure private network. It also offers CRM integration, so you can track all points of contact and enhance customer service.

When customers call a company, they will often make a decision based on their experience. If their call goes unanswered, they may decide to hang-up and are highly unlikely to call back.

Cloud telephony allows you to set-up auto attendant messages to greet and update your caller and choose appropriate music for them to listen to while they wait. These simple steps help to retain callers for longer, giving you the chance to take the call and gain a new customer.

#3 - Enhanced security
Both cloud telephony and computing systems offer more advanced security than traditional systems. The use of a VPN will protect the integrity of data used via mobile devices and lesson the likelihood of a security breach.

Cloud IT builds a sound security infrastructure, which makes cyber-crime far harder to commit. In fact, most cloud security breaches occur due to user error (inadequate or duplicate passwords for example), and not from being hacked!

Furthermore, data can be encrypted before it is sent or stored, and can only be accessed with the encryption key, which offers an additional layer of security.

#4 – Agility
Cloud-based solutions do not require the hardware needed for on-premises servers. Should the business headcount change, you can downsize or upscale your provision, without wasting money on unnecessary equipment, or needing to invest in additional hardware.

As the business needs change, services and capacity can be added or removed accordingly, and without delay. Changes to the configuration of the infrastructure are relatively easy to make, so there is no need to commit to requirements way ahead of time.

Cloud services are provided on a pay for use basis (so you need never pay for what you don’t use) but can respond quickly to increased demand.

#5 - Outsourced services
There are a number of key features that will allow staff members to use their skills on business-focussed tasks. Our cloud-based call centres can help your business by taking care of customer contact in a professional and efficient manner. Managing this in-house can put a strain on resources, particularly when call volumes are varied and unpredictable.

With cloud computing, we manage your business infrastructure, so no more need for expensive IT engineers, or in-house troubleshooting. This means your IT team are free to focus on core business improvements.

Cloud-based solutions are flexible and are configured to your current need and scale. They offer advanced security features and reduced costs.

If you would like to know more about how to future-proof your business or talk to us about any of our cloud-based services, please call 0161 788 4400.

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