When is the right time to switch my communications to the cloud?

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20 Jun 2024

When is the right time to switch my communications to the cloud?

For many small to medium-sized businesses, the decision to adopt a cloud-based communications system is usually taken based on cost. But talk to any company actually running in the cloud and it’s quickly obvious that there’s a lot more to be gained by doing this than just reducing outgoings.

To begin with, there are operational efficiencies along with improvements in employee satisfaction and greater overall business agility. Cloud-based comms systems frees a business from being tied to physical infrastructure. They give both staff and management a degree of flexibility and responsiveness that’s hard to go back from.

But knowing just when to make the plunge can be difficult. Most businesses haven’t yet adopted a cloud-based platform. They are working with legacy systems that include PSTN phone systems as well as a mix of laptop, desktop and smartphone devices. These systems cost money to install and maintain and it can feel hard to walk away from that investment.

But already cloud-based unified communications (UC) adoption in Ireland stands at 43.7 per cent. It’s predicted to rise to 80 per cent by 2028. This isn’t surprising when you weigh up the benefits of streamlining communications to the cloud.

The advantages of a cloud-based system

Traditional on-premises systems often require significant upfront investment in hardware, software and maintenance. By contrast, cloud-based solutions usually operate on a subscription model. Allowing you to pay just for the services you use.

This reduces capital expenditure and transforms communication costs into a predictable operating expense. Providing financial flexibility. Scalability is another critical advantage. As your business grows, so too do your communication needs. Cloud-based systems offer scalability. Allowing you to add or remove users and services as required.

This ensures that your comms can adapt to changing business demands without the need for significant reconfiguration or additional investment. Need to change office? Not a problem. Your staff want to work from home, or part-time from the office? Also, easy to manage. A good unified communications (UC) system streamlines everything. Making it easier for employees to collaborate and share information. With UC, voice calls, video conferencing, instant messaging and file sharing are all accessible from one interface. Eliminating the need to switch between different applications. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances the overall user experience.

Hybrid is here to stay

At the same time the current shift towards hybrid working models, accelerated by the global pandemic, is likely to remain a permanent feature of the modern workplace. Cloud-based comms support this transition by enabling employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility is crucial for maintaining productivity. While ensuring business continuity, regardless of where employees are located.

Cloud-based systems provide real-time collaboration tools such as shared documents, project management software and video conferencing. Allowing employees to collaborate effectively regardless of their physical location. Why is this valuable? Improved collaboration can lead to increased innovation and faster decision-making.

Securing your data can become a lot easier

Protecting your data and that of your staff is increasingly important but also increasingly complicated. Patching and updating lots of different applications is often a distraction from the day-to-day business of doing business but has to be done. A cloud-based provider can take a huge amount of this workload off your desk.

Modern cloud-based communication solutions offer high levels of reliability and security. Service providers typically guarantee uptime and offer robust security measures, including data encryption and secure access controls. These features ensure that your communication activities remain secure and uninterrupted, providing peace of mind and protecting your business from potential security breaches.

Pulling the trigger

While the benefits are clear knowing when to make the switch is hard. If your current communication infrastructure is outdated or struggling to keep up with your business needs. Then that’s a great sign that it’s time to consider a change. Ageing systems are costly to maintain and can lack the features staff increasingly want and expect to support modern communication needs.

If you’re expanding your team or opening new locations, a cloud-based system can provide the scalability and flexibility needed to support this growth. The ability to support remote and hybrid working models is crucial but if your current system does not support these capabilities. Switching to a cloud-based solution can provide the necessary tools.

Likewise, if you’re considering downsizing to a smaller office space because hybrid working means you no longer need space for everyone to be present each day. Then that too can be managed easily. A subscription-based model allows for predictable budgeting and eliminates the need for significant upfront investment.

Additionally, if your business handles sensitive information and requires enhanced security measures. Modern cloud-based solutions can offer the kind of robust security that would be difficult and expensive to manage in-house.

Build a roadmap

Begin by evaluating your current comms requirements and identify the features and capabilities you think you might need in a new system. Consider factors such as the size of your team. The need for remote work support and any specific collaboration tools suited to your business in your sector.

Selecting a reputable service provider with a proven track record in delivering cloud-based communication solutions is critical. Look for providers that offer comprehensive support. Robust security measures and scalable options to grow with your business. Develop a detailed implementation plan that includes timelines. Resource allocation and training programs. Ensuring that your team is adequately trained on the new system is essential to maximise its benefits.

After the transition, continuously monitor the performance of your new system and gather feedback from users. Use this information to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that the system is meeting your business needs effectively.

If you would like to discuss switching your communications to the cloud, or your communication strategy, book a free call with our V-Hub digital experts now.

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