Times Have Changed: Welcome to the Business Communication Revolution

By Tim Howard (Profile)
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Friday, September 28th 2012
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Today, business is global and happens 24x7 thanks to the increased connection power made possible by our world’s mobile landscape. Want to check that report while commuting home? Send a quick email during dinner? Grab a tablet or smartphone and it is like you never left the office. In many ways this has changed what it means to be a full time employee. Especially, for the small to medium sized business (SMBs) employees who have to do more with less time, money and resources. Gone are the days when you were unreachable after 5PM, on vacation or taking a sick day. Even the dreaded post-vacation email catch-ups have become obsolete, as employees can remain up-to-date from anywhere. Enterprises, that once built processes and fostered employees’ lifestyles around the reality that business only happened in the office, have adopted different mindsets, keeping up with ever changing technology trends.

In tandem with these new mindsets, the shift of enterprises migrating to cloud computing is a natural progression. These migrations are now defining a company’s environment and allows for secure, employee access. Cloud computing tools such as Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, and Google Drive allow employees to embrace the advantages of an increasingly connected workplace. These tools enable them to be more collaborative, mobile and productive. As an employer, this type of work place allows for a significant increase in productivity and decrease of equipment cost.

Opinions might vary on the effects of these changes but the bottom line is they are here to stay, and for good reason. What does it mean to your IT department? It means that we now expect ubiquitous connectivity, and expect our IT managers maintain this robust network. If your business is not on top of these changes then you risk becoming obsolete. This danger is even more risky for small to medium sized businesses that have limited IT resources with which to keep up with the latest trends. Retaining this competitive edge is even more important in today’s market.

The challenge for small-to-medium businesses with all technology migrations is how and if they can be harnessed.  Making the transition to these new infrastructures are tough decisions to make. SMBs are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and many have been deeply impacted by the economic conditions of the last few years. But things are starting to look up for the SMB landscape and as the economy starts to turn, SMBs are forced to decide if they should invest in new technology or hire more employees. These decisions influence a company’s future in their industry.

New services often mean new network infrastructure, more money, time and perhaps even a new IT professional to manage it all. It can be not only expensive, but inefficient and these pain points are felt more acutely at a smaller company. And technology is changing fast - by the time you make the case to management and sort out all the roadblocks, it might already be time to upgrade again. Cloud based subscription models make these updates easier than ever, and has additionally leveled the IT playing field.

Say goodbye to expensive and arduous software updates on your company’s hardware and constantly needing to spend money on the infrastructure to support it. Maximizing the value of your dollar is that much easier with these services. Most services in the cloud are based on a monthly subscription and come complete with seamless, real-time updates without breaking the bank. Many IT service companies help bring others to the cloud. SMBs can leverage the productivity enhancements brought by new services without a huge cost or loss of efficiency.