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How Cloud Powers Business Agility By @Infor | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

Adopting cloud allows organizations to spend less time & money managing IT & more time focused on growing the business

Make Change Your Friend: How Cloud Powers Business Agility

While change definitely can bring unprecedented opportunity to drive topline revenue and improved efficiency, it can also bring obstruction and more challenges for core business operations and infrastructure if not dealt with properly. More specifically, change can come in many different ways such as expansion into new countries, new and enhanced product lines, a merger or acquisition, different customers and even new suppliers and distributors. All of these changes can provide vast opportunities for growth, but only if a business is ready to get the most out of them.

In order to be successful, change can no longer be a foe. Make it your friend. In order to reach that next level of success you need to not only be able to seize current market opportunities without hesitation, but also be able to execute well on them. One way to quickly addresses changes in a business - at any level - is cloud technology. Picture being able to open or acquire a new office and quickly be up and running with the same technology platform, or easily accommodating seasonal and cyclical variations in demand, or allowing employees to access work anywhere and work the way they live.

Adopting cloud technology really allows organizations to spend less time and money managing IT, and more time focused on their real priority - growing and making the business more efficient. But how can it help businesses overcome change, be more nimble and responsive?

Always on, wherever, whenever, service. In today's competitive business world, downtime equals lost revenue, and companies simply can't afford to have their critical applications offline. If a customer is unable to do business when they want, competitors will be overjoyed to fill that void. And, in a world that's always running, keeping the lights on around the clock is fast becoming a business necessity. The right cloud computing application is available 24x7x365, no matter where team members are based or what devices they're using.

Supporting growth around the globe. It's no surprise that emerging markets and remote locations are becoming lucrative business opportunities for many organizations. But, capitalizing on those potential opportunities can be complex and very budget adverse. Not only are physical assets a challenge, but there's also dealing with other variables such as finding the right technical skills, systems, understanding new rules and regulations and even reporting requirements. This is no easy feat and can be extremely daunting and a barrier for growth for many. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to rapidly launch a new presence or develop existing operations in almost any region without having to physically be there, which substantially minimizes both capital investments and risk.

Investing in the new workforce. The workforce has changed and successful organizations are quickly realizing that in order to stay on top they must empower team members to do their jobs better, faster, and with more flexibility. With the right cloud-based applications, organizations can decrease company risk as employees no longer have to turn to outside sources to optimize job performance.

Motivate innovation and productivity. When IT resources are focused on maintaining existing infrastructure and on-premise solutions, they are unavoidably stuck in a defensive operational mode - just keeping things up and running is an overwhelming effort. As a result, they struggle to get ahead of the basics to support more strategic initiatives that can facilitate and even power change in the organization. Cloud-based business solutions help drive a fundamental shift in IT, from system deployment and operations to technology business partner.

Streamline compliance needs. Changes in software, security and regulations continue to shift and become more complex in nature. Staying on top of these new norms manually can become very expensive and time consuming - as well as riddled with error. This is an area where cloud-based solutions offer a multitude of benefits to businesses eager to increase productivity and reduce risk. In a cloud-based SaaS world, security and compliance updates can be pushed out automatically to the entire organization immediately - as soon as they're available. Not only does this simplify the process of keeping systems up-to-date, it also ensures that everyone in the company has access to the most current information and tools to do their jobs effectively.

More Stories By Lisa Pope

Lisa Pope is Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Sales, Infor CloudSuite. She is responsible for the global strategy and sales of Infor’s Cloud Solutions, as well as overall value positioning of Infor’s UpgradeX program, allowing existing customers a simple path to the cloud. With 25 years of experience in the software industry, specifically in vertical industries including manufacturing, distribution, retail, and healthcare; she brings direct sales, services leadership, and cloud knowledge to the Infor team.

Prior to Infor, Pope served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales Strategy at QAD, where she managed the overall cloud sales strategy and the North America region. She also spent 10 years as Vice President of Strategic Account Applications at Oracle.

Pope holds two bachelor’s degrees in business and communications from the University of California – Santa Barbara.

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