Over the past few years, cloud computing has become increasingly popular for businesses everywhere. Companies such as SalesForce.com, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and other tech giants have created must-have cloud solutions for businesses all over the world. However, there are still many companies hesitant to embracing this technology or are simply resistant to change. Here are some reasons why every business must consider cloud-based technology for their organizations.
- Employee Productivity
When employees have the flexibility to access the information they need from anywhere on any device, they have a higher likelihood to perform more effectively and reach their deadlines. In one study conducted in 2012, Hatem, Kwan, and Miles demonstrate this by administering a simple construction design task to two groups of people; one that worked in a face to face environment and the other that used instant messaging on their computers. Those using instant messaging were found to be more effective in this task.
- Improved Communication
In today’s workforce, we value diversity so we can learn from one another’s cultures and ethnicities which gives us an advantage in the business world. However, one understated concern regarding diversity is maintaining equal communication throughout a multicultural team due to discrimination and the fact that certain cultures are more reserved than others and may have different styles of communication. Berg (2012) looked into this further in her research. She assigned two teams to complete a task in two settings; face-to-face and working virtually/anonymously. She found that those who worked virtually communicated in a significantly more balanced, effective manner.
- Accessing information quicker
In any organization, time is money. Without technology, it takes a longer time to access the company information one needs to complete the task he or she is assigned to. Many times, this information can only be found by asking another co-worker or by looking through documentation. Technology reduces the time involved in both cases. In 2007, Garrett and Danziger studied how distracting instant messaging was for employees. They conducted a study using two groups, those who had access to instant messaging and those who did not. What they found was that those who used instant messaging had an ability to access task relevant information much quicker compared to those who didn’t. Whether it is instant messaging, a CRM, or an ERP, retrieving information instantly is priceless.
- Employee Engagement
Employee turnover is expensive and the job market is competitive. To hire top talent and keep them happy, cloud-computing is imperative as it is proven to keep employees happier compared to those firms who lack this technology. When there is an option to occasionally work from home or have access to information anywhere, employees can work in a more flexible, relaxed environment. In 2013, Dykshoorn and Nemani analyzed over 60 sources of information and found that there is a significant amount of synergy between employee engagement and cloud computing.
In summary, when employee turnover is reduced, miscommunication is eliminated, and tasks are being completed at a faster pace, expenses are reduced, revenue potentially increases, and profitability grows. Whether it is a SaaS (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), or PaaS (platform as a service), the benefits outweigh the costs.
Disclaimer: This is not to say that all cloud solutions are created equal. Make sure you do your research and choose a company that protects your business sensitive information.
Resources gathered and analyzed by Shamit Patel, Corey Gonzales, and Jennifer Ha
Berg, R.W. (2012). The Anonymity Factor in Making Multicultural Teams Work. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, Volume 75(Issue 4), pp 404-424
Dykshoorn, D. F., & Nemani, R. (2013). Creating an engaged and productive workforce in small businesses using cloud computing: A literature review. International Journal of Science, Engineering and Computer Technology, 3(8), 284.
Garrett, R. K., & Danziger, J. N. (2007). IM = Interruption Management? Instant messaging and disruption in the workplace. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 23-42.
Hatem, W. A., Kwan, A.S., & Miles, J.C. (2012). Comparing the effectiveness of face to face and computer mediated collaboration. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 26(2), 383-395