Cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions provide a number of benefits for a company, though often at the cost of retraining or hiring of new IT professionals. However, according to Zohar Gilad, writing for GigaOm, there are two primary factors that any company considering a cloud phone system or data management solution needs to consider.
Gilad states that Precise, the company he works for, managed to lower it's IT budget by 70 percent, over $2 million in savings for a business with only 200 employees. Precise focused on cash flow analysis, as well as how much customization the business really needed.
According to Gilad, a custom built UC solution is often overrated. Many off-the-shelf SaaS and cloud VoIP solutions can work for a business with very little tweaking of its own systems. In order to do this, Gilad evaluated the needs of each separate department in the company and examined what each group of employees needed to do their jobs. Ultimately, the company was able to adapt its processes to the cloud solution it found, not the other way around.
The main benefit of many cloud solutions is their adaptability. However, when considering a complex system, such as unified communications, a company may be able to save a considerable amount of money by implementing a pre-designed solution, rather than putting together products for a custom one. Additionally, many of these benefits can provide increases for productivity and sales, increasing revenue while decreasing expenses.
A recent Techaisle survey found that many small businesses find cloud solutions for data and communication tedious. Much of this comes from managing multiple-vendor services. Gilad recommends off-the-shelf SaaS cloud solutions not only because they mitigate this issue, but also because they provide more uniform support for the product, decreasing confusion and aggravation.
It is not only the responsibility of IT directors, but also other department heads and company executives, to find the best cloud solution for the business. Different groups of employees may require varied products, and being fully informed of employees' needs, as well as the budgetary needs for the business as a whole, is the only way to maximize savings and deploy the best possible cloud-based system.