A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), commissioned by data storage company EMC, predicts that cloud computing will bolster the top five European Union (EU) economies by £645 billion over the next five years.

With government budget cuts dominating the headlines for the last few months, such positive predictions are certainly a welcome change when scouring the news! So how exactly is cloud computing benefits will bring about this economic boost for the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain? According to the CEBR, cloud computing “speeds up time-to-market, removes traditional barriers to entry and allows companies to exploit new market opportunities.” As well as driving new business, the report outlines the potential cost savings and lists the many advantages you have no doubt heard before:

  • Reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX) costs
  • Quicker ROI
  • More valuable re-deployment of resources

“What a surprise”, I hear you cry, “Huddle is a cloud-based collaboration tool – of course you’re going to highlight the cloud computing benefits!”  And yes, we do stress the cloud collaboration benefits of no large upfront investments, ROI etc. But, what I want to focus on is this: Huddle not only provides its customers with software as a service, the company relies entirely on the cloud to run.

Thanks to the cloud, Huddle was founded in 2007 and has grown from a two-person start-up in my bedroom in Balham to a team of 65 people in London and San Francisco. And all this has happened in just over three years. Without access to the cloud, it would have been extremely difficult and expensive to set the company up and expand it so quickly. I’m sure there are now many other founders worldwide, with shoestring budgets, nodding their heads in agreement. Having the ability to follow a “pay as you go” pricing model and scale quickly and efficiently is a blessing. Everything at Huddle – from our email and word processors through to our customer support, HR and payroll systems – is cloud based. And the great thing is they are always up-to-date and accessible from all of our offices.

Now, of course, not everyone will have started their company using web-based tools and services. Organizations considering taking the leap from on-premise services to the cloud need to carefully consider what they are trying to achieve and what the cultural impact of this shift will be. While using cloud-based tools will come naturally to some members of the team, this won’t be the case for everyone and time will need to be spent getting everyone up to speed. Similarly, the cloud allows people to access information from any location, at any time of day, so have you thoughtabout enabling flexible working or remote practices?

Finally, try the tools you are considering rolling out before you buy them. If you have spent a significant amount of time planning and making the move to cloud, the last thing you want is poor user adoption within your organization. Free or trial versions are offered by many web-based services, so don’t take the plunge and sign-off the purchase order until you’re sure that you get a great user experience and the technology is right for your business. This is something our product team will discuss in more depth soon.

Are you a business built on the cloud? What cloud computing benefits do you see? Let us know below…

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