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Three big business challenges solved by the cloud

Simply moving your Intranet to the Cloud on its own isn't enough, but moving to the Cloud in the right way for your organization can deliver substantial gains in these areas.

Three big business challenges solved by the cloud

If you are involved in the strategic direction of a large organization's information technology, then certainly close to your list of challenges will be:

  1. Minimising cost of IT
  2. Flexibility & scaleability
  3. Provision of Business Intelligence

How could simply moving your Intranet to the Cloud help with these three big challenges that you and your organization face? Simply moving to the Cloud on its own isn't enough, but moving to the Cloud in the right way for your organization can deliver substantial gains in these areas.

1. Minimising Cost of IT

Get rid of your servers, licenses, and reassign your staff away from looking after Intranet hardware by putting your information in the Cloud. The cost savings are substantial as you are piggy-backing on vast economies of scale that the Cloud providers can achieve. The redundancy and disaster recovery costs that are associated with on-premise solutions are removed almost entirely from the equation, as this is built into a good Cloud platform. Therefore the cost savings are not simply at the platform level.

With on-premise Intranet hosting licensing, costs of users and servers are frequently out of step with actual use. As on-premise systems scale, the marginal cost of adding the one extra user requires the next big step of the platform, which has a very high cost. Providers of Cloud solutions are pricing solutions on a per seat basis that is exactly in line with your actual usage, this means no large cost jumps. Cloud solutions are also provided at very competitive rates, as providers work hard to persuade clients to move to their Cloud platforms. There are also now Cloud intranet solutions where the entire system provision cost is bundled into a per seat cost.

2. Flexibility & Scalability

Scaling on-premise with anything other than a routine addition becomes a project. This generates not only incremental hardware costs, but also additional IT employee time requirements. This all means that additional IT cannot simply be turned on at the flick of a switch or the click of a mouse. Moving to a Cloud solution gives you the ability to add to the platform on a virtually instantaneous basis.

The immediacy of a Cloud intranet is not simply a luxury but allows enterprises to remove barriers to business changes, such as adding new marketing and speeding the assimilation of business units acquired. This adds agility to the business so that it exploits opportunities it sees faster and delivers on synergy gains from business purchases quicker, in order to satisfy shareholder value pressures.

3. Business Intelligence Provision

In the knowledge economy information and data is generated at an ever-expanding rate in a range of formats. Business leaders make decisions based on knowledge and this is the distillation of data and information into a pure and insightful form. The difficulty is that if you spread your raw data and knowledge across multiple systems held in different locations, being able to bring it together into a useful format becomes increasingly difficult.

Bringing your intranet into the Cloud helps with the extraction and provision of business intelligence as it brings the data together into a single place; the Cloud. While some of it may still reside in disparate systems, its location together makes it simpler and crucially faster. Cloud enabled platforms like Microsoft SharePoint 2013 have been built with business intelligence extraction in mind. This means that data access and normalization is simplified and business leaders can be provided with Business Intelligence Self-Service systems. This puts business intelligence at the finger-tips of decision makers, which improves the timeliness of decisions because the decision makers can actually refine the intelligence that they are extracting themselves.

Business Intelligence is only going to become more crucial to the enterprise as their data mountains build and their need to make sense and understand patterns, trends and opportunities that are hidden within the data grows under competitive pressures.

Further Cloud Intranet Knowledge

BrightStarr have an enviable bank of experience and knowledge of Cloud based intranets which they are sharing during quarter two of 2014. In addition to whitepapers and further blog posts, we will be hosting both physical seminars and webinars. The first of which is a free seminar in partnership with Microsoft in London. You can also contact BrightStarr directly if you have specific questions regarding Cloud Intranets via our main contact page.

Hugh Wilkinson Infrastructure Consultant

One of BrightStarr's longest standing residents, Hugh has watched the company grow from its humble beginnings into the global force it is today.

Hugh's time is spent dealing more with our clients' SharePoint infrastructure and administrative requirements, consulting on the implementation and configuration of farms of all shapes and sizes, from the small to the globally dispersed topologies, as well as all aspects of administering and maintaining SharePoint Farms in accordance with the latest best practices. He works extensively with the UK teams when it comes to delivering and upgrading to platform solutions for SharePoint and other Microsoft Enterprise solutions.

Hugh is a keen rugby player and is part of the running crew at BrightStarr UK (Sam, Rich and Ralph being other notable members).

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