By Ray Emirzian, Vice President of Operations & Product Management, docSTAR
I often wonder if each year will feel as if we have reached the peak of technological advancement. How could we possibly squeeze more technology into our everyday lives? From the 55-inch smart TV on the wall to the smart phone in your pocket, we have grown increasingly dependent on our connection to the cloud. If these trends hold true, 2014 will bring even more cloud technology to our personal lives as well as our businesses.
According to Forbes.com, more and more companies are starting to weigh their options for cloud-based CRM systems. Cloud computing will account for 45 percent of all IT spending by 2016 in the form of cloud-related platforms and applications and nearly half of large enterprises will have cloud deployments by the end of 2017.
Companies are switching to enterprise cloud applications to save time and money. Cloud-based systems improve computer operating speeds leading to a more productive workforce, and the extra storage space increases the lifespan of the computer. It will also free up members of your IT team who spend most of their time managing, maintaining, and troubleshooting hardware. Often cloud computing providers offer management services, allowing companies to offload those tasks, freeing up the IT team for more vital important projects that take a higher priority or add additional value to your business' bottom line.
Cloud applications have the flexibility to ramp capacity up and down to match business demands. These services are typically offered by the month or based on consumption of resources. This is perfect for industries that are subject to boom times during their normal business cycle or for a new company that is unsure of the speed of their growth.
Many data centers are running out of space and companies are paying a fortune to expand and upgrade their equipment. By implementing new mission-critical technologies within cloud applications, companies can upgrade their aging infrastructure with minimal upfront expense.
Data storage also includes paper storage. The vast majority of enterprise documents still exist on paper and need to be digitized for practical use and storage. With cloud-based document management software paper documents can be scanned and uploaded to the cloud, eliminating hardware cost, additional storage expense and making the documents easily available at any time.
In the past year businesses also saw a move towards remote working environments with more employees working from home or traveling to meet clients. In order to support this new trend, access to data needs to be available from anywhere. With the cloud, employees can access data from any web-enabled device at any time as long as they have corporate enabled provision to do so. Similarly, team members, vendors, and partners can collaborate on projects in real-time, which can improve productivity and keep remote employees engaged.
2014 is right around the corner — the next peak of the digital age. When assessing your IT spending for next year, be sure to consider the cloud. It just may be the technology that vaults your business ahead of the competition.
Ray Emirzian is Vice President of Operations & Product Management at docSTAR, a B2B software firm specializing in cloud document management software and business process automation. He has more than two decades of experience in business process analysis, business process automation, and business consultation working with industry-leading organizations including NCR, Canon USA, and AuthentiDate Holding Corporation. Emirzian offers innovative perspectives on streamlining business for improved efficiency and productivity with emphasis on Accounts Payable Solutions. You can follow Ray Emirzian and the docSTAR team on Twitter @docSTARsoftware.