Growth – that most desirable of outcomes – can be a double-edged sword. As a company increases in size and becomes more complex, the systems and processes that once supported its workforce may begin to seem inadequate.
Pressure points emerge: To accommodate more clients, you need to invest in more powerful business applications and tools. Yet, to do so increases the costs and complicates your choices. To maintain profitability, you need both cutting-edge programs and high-quality talent – often on a shoestring budget.
Fortunately, cloud technology has enabled organizations to grow without having to make costly up front investments and instead receive technology as a service.
One of the benefits of cloud technology are cloud phone systems, which offer a host of benefits including cost savings, application integration, employee mobility, scalability and more.
But how do you know if you’re ready to make the switch to cloud communications?
If you recognize one or more of these:
1. All of your IT resources are focused on core business initiatives – and not much else.
Many small businesses don’t have the flexibility to have their IT staff focus on managing a phone system. The cloud can relieve your team of that burden. Instead, the job of maintaining and updating the system falls to the vendor. There’s no need to hire or develop the expertise in-house, and your IT team can shed one of its hats, freeing up time to be spent on more critical business initiatives.
2. You’ve moved critical business applications, like customer relationship management, to the cloud.
The adoption rate of “Software as a Service” is high and growing. According to investment bank Cowen & Company’s Mid-Year 2015 IT Spending Survey, 77 percent of enterprises already have adopted cloud services and expect to more processes to follow.
If you’ve rolled out customer relationship management and ERP, you can increase the value of your investments by integrating these applications with a cloud phone system. A unified communications platform will increase productivity. And with immediate access to customer data, employees can enhance the client experience.
3. Your employees are never in the office.
Today’s workforce is constantly on the move. Not only are more employees working remotely – from home or satellite offices – but increasingly, they’re traveling more, too. This creates a pain point: It’s hard enough to work on the go, but without the seamless integration of business applications, collaboration can easily detour into rough terrain. When productivity begins to break down, it’s a good sign it’s time to upgrade.
4. Your organization is growing quickly.
Managing growth can be one of the most difficult challenges businesses face. You want to take advantage of emerging opportunities, but also need the right people and tools to keep pace. On top of that, flexibility is critical. The tools and applications you need today may change by next month. With a cloud phone system, you can easily add phone systems to new branch offices, while taking advantage of features and capabilities as you need them – with minimal disruption.
5. Budgets are tight – and costs need to be managed.
To keep your business growing, your chief finance officer needs a clear line of sight into future costs. It’s the only way to steer the business. But all of the situations we’ve mentioned here can easily upend the budget. If your spending plans have little flexibility, adding some certainty will help. This highlights the importance of two cost advantages that come with moving your phone system to the cloud: A relatively small financial impact in the first year and subscription pricing that introduces predictability.
If any of these points feel familiar, it’s a good indication that the time has come to upgrade to a new cloud phone system. If you’re still undecided – or if you’re tempted to put it off a little longer – consider this: Your competitors may be feeling these pain points, too. Moving quickly could help you be more competitive, and that’s a sign worth heeding.