25 Nov Working from the cloud
Business is changing. More of what we do is online, and more of us are looking to work from home than ever before. Of course, COVID-19 forced a lot of businesses to allow remote working. However it only accelerated an existing trend, and even businesses that were previously reluctant discovered that there were benefits. Meanwhile, there were significant upsides for workers, with less commuting and more personal time.
This creates some dilemmas for businesses. How could they retain these benefits? How could they keep standards up with their teams physically separated? Or, in short, how to ensure business continuity – so that there’s no disruption wherever the team is working? This is where cloud systems come into their own. At One Connectivity, we’re specialists in cloud systems so we know how they can help. In this blog post, we’d like to share some of the benefits.
What is the cloud?
First, the basics. Traditional business communications are hosted on-premise, which means that the physical central telephony hardware is located inside your office somewhere. Therefore, all your business data is stored onsite and can only be accessed when you are also in the office. The cloud offers a more agile way of working. Instead of onsite servers, information is hosted remotely. This means it can be accessed from anywhere.
Chances are that you use cloud services already. It may for something personal, like backing up photos so that they’re not just stored on one device. The convenience and security of this are clear enough but migrating a business to the cloud feels like a bigger step. But it doesn’t need to. Let’s run through some of the benefits.
Business continuity with no compromises
Despite the benefits, some people still see remote working as “second best”. This isn’t just business leaders, but workers too. The Office for National Statistics found that the biggest reported downside of working from home during lockdown was the challenge of collaboration. The right cloud communications platform will flip that on its head.
Quite simply, you can have all the benefits of a shared workspace wherever you are. Need to double-check something? An instant message will do the trick – and it’s quicker than wandering over to someone’s desk! You can share documents and work on them together in real time. Unlimited video conferencing can cover weekly meetings, with a screen sharing feature for quick collaboration. You can do all this with a single application, meaning that all the records are conveniently stored in one place. If you want to combine the benefits of in-person and remote working, cloud communications are the answer. Remote working doesn’t have to disrupt teamwork – with the right platform, it can enhance it.
We’ve already mentioned flexibility, but it’s worth reflecting on this in a little more detail. First off, growing numbers of people want more flexibility at work. According to the Office for National Statistics, as many as 85% of UK workers look for hybrid working, where their time is split between the home and the office.
It’s no wonder, with the quality-of-life benefits that are on offer. Less commuting means more personal time, whether that’s spent with the family or grabbing extra rest. This reduces stress, making your team better-equipped for the challenges of work. The upside is that this complements the core needs of the business. Study after study shows that a happier workforce is more productive.
Communication and integration
So far, we’ve talked about internal communication – critically important in any business. But that only scratches the surface. Our cloud platforms can also support integration with other systems, from analytics to CRMs and accounting software. All you need is an internet connection, and you can work from anywhere. You can even integrate with your team’s diaries, so that anyone can see who’s available and when in an instant.
The potential is immense. Modern cloud technology and all its add-ons have dramatically expanded the number of industries where working from home is possible. This even includes services that are traditionally provided from one physical location such as contact centres. Without expensive, specialist hardware, you can make, take and record calls from anywhere. Agents can share notes about customers, allowing everyone to remain up to date.
We’ve already shown some of the ways you can use our platforms to collaborate from anywhere. It can easily be as effective as teamwork in the office, if not more so. This brings us neatly to the potential increases in productivity if you migrate to the cloud. It’s quite straightforward really. If your team can access your systems from anywhere, and collaborate in real time, this can streamline everything you do.
It goes without saying that we’d all like to get more done in less time – but that’s not the only way that cloud platforms can boost productivity. Among the many integrations we offer are analytics tools. These will provide rich insights into your work, identifying strengths as well as areas where there’s room for improvement. That way, you can make informed decisions about how you can make your business even more efficient.
One of the main concerns with switching to more flexible work patterns is security. It’s understandable. With on-premise systems, everything’s in one place, reducing the number of potential weak links, and allowing you to physically secure any important servers and hardware. But with the right tools and best practice, the cloud can be just as safe.
At One Connectivity, we can offer platforms with the highest levels of security. You can set employee access levels at the click of a button. All your communications can be end-to-end encrypted, so that no one can listen in. As long as you’re regularly updating passwords, working remotely can be just as safe as keeping everything on-premise.
Even our customers in highly regulated areas, like financial services, are finding that they can work securely by following these steps. It really is possible to have both flexibility and peace of mind.
How we can help
We passionately believe that both businesses and their staff can get the best of both worlds through cloud technology. You can have all the benefits of flexible working – and, with the right setup, you can collaborate just as well as you can in the office, with a highly secure system to boot. The big question is this: what’s the right setup?
That’s where we come in. At One Connectivity, we’ve got years of experience with cloud communications. There are plenty of tools on offer, for businesses of all sizes. We know the industry well and how to tailor all that choice to our customers’ needs. There’s a suitable platform for every business, whether you’ve got a few employees or thousands. Our goal is to use our knowledge to help you find your platform, and make sure you see all these benefits for your business.
If you’ve got any questions at all, please do get in touch. You can call us on 0115 896 88 60.