It’s a rare business that can’t find a few opportunities to streamline internal business processes. After all, any business activity can accumulate complexity over time as an organization evolves. In addition, a process may become irrelevant as business models change, yet retain its grip on a company. And some processes may involve multiple hand-offs and re-entering data, slowing cycle time and increasing exposure to human error.
Cloud-based software is a proven technology that can help companies streamline their operations. In particular, organizations can deploy a range of cloud-based software offerings to help them on their way. Here are three ways cloud-based operating platforms can streamline business processes.
1. Automate Manual Processes
Manual processes stubbornly persist in enterprises, even those that are heavily automated. Outmoded manual methods are very much on the minds of IT managers. The business technology professionals polled in InformationWeek’s Enterprise Applications Survey, for example, rated the automation of manual worksteps their top priority for business process improvement.
There are a couple of reasons manual processes endure. Some processes may fall outside the scope of core enterprise applications and the IT department may wish to avoid the cost of developing customized extensions. Or, an organization may determine that some processes are too niche-oriented to justify the expense of a specialized application and associated infrastructure investment. In those types of situations, cloud software can help companies streamline business processes that have proven difficult to automate. Today, software applications cover a range of process and can be configured to meet an organization’s specific requirements. Cloud software also lets enterprises avoid the upfront software licensing and hardware costs of a traditional on-premise deployment. The cloud can help you clean up areas of manual inefficiency.
2. Keep Up With Business Change
A business is subject to constant change. Customer demand patterns may shift at a moment’s notice. New products and services must be developed. The regulatory environment can introduce any number of compliance wrinkles. A given business process may have difficulty keeping up with such a dynamic setting. Cloud software, however, can give companies the agility to modify business processes or roll out entirely new ones.
That’s because the cloud lets organizations create new modes of doing business much more rapidly than traditional approaches. A cloud-based solution can often be switched on in a matter of minutes. A typical on-premise deployment, in contrast, could take weeks or months. An organization may need to modify its existing IT infrastructure to accommodate a desired application or order and assemble the new hardware and storage components for hosting the application.
“The difficulty of doing this, and the time that it takes, can be a major barrier to innovation,” noted The Open Group, a global consortium that promotes IT standards. “Cloud computing can remove this barrier by enabling the enterprise to add to or change its IT resources quickly and easily.”
In short, cloud software provides the flexibility to streamline business processes on the fly.
3. Simplify Disaster Recovery
A disaster recovery business process generally requires an organization to build out a redundant facility and then implement technology to replicate data from the primary site to the backup location. Disaster recovery can become a complicated and expensive business process.
Cloud software, on the other hand, lets enterprises simplify disaster recovery. In one example, the City of Asheville, N.C. uses Amazon Web Services and software from CloudVelox to provide a disaster recovery capability in the cloud. Asheville lacked the resources to build a second facility as a backup. The cloud approach provides data protection without the associated costs and complexity.
A Streamlined Process
Cloud-based technology can streamline business processes, from manual activities to disaster recovery scenarios. Lithyem incorporates the cloud in its business operating platform solutions for mid-sized and larger enterprises.
Have you considered the cloud as a means for process simplification? Leave your comments below or Contact us today.