Many companies are reluctant to leave their traditional solutions behind, but in the fast-paced and growing world of digital solutions and automation, “how we’ve always done it” doesn’t cut it anymore.
Adopting solutions that run on the cloud holds a number of benefits for modern companies. However, the
concept of the “cloud” or the benefits this option holds may still seem vague to you. To determine if a cloud-based corporate performance management solution is the best path forward for your business, you must learn more about the cloud and the value this type of solution could bring to your company.
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What is the Cloud?
Many people know a little bit about the “cloud” but aren’t really sure what it is or how it can impact your business operations. The “cloud” is the Internet-based equivalent to software you use every day. It refers to solutions that are run via the Internet, instead of being stored and run on your hard drive. Your data is stored offsite, but instantly accessible using the Internet.
A real-world example of a cloud-based solution vs. its traditional software competitor would be Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word. Both are word processing tools with many of the same functions. However, Google Docs is accessible via the cloud on the Internet, while Microsoft Word is an application that is downloaded to your hard drive and can be used without the Internet.
A Comprehensive Look at the Cloud
View this three-part webinar series to learn more about the benefits of using cloud-based solutions.
The True Value of the Cloud
While the “cloud” may seem like a vague term lots of companies throw around today, using cloud-based solutions offers tangible benefits for your organization. Here are some of the positive impacts a cloud-based corporate performance management solution can have on your company:
As remote work environments become more and more popular, it’s important that you have the tools and support system in place to facilitate remote work. However, this isn’t possible for your teams unless you have a cloud-based corporate performance management solution. Enabling your employees to have flexible work schedules or even empowering your company to have a partial or completely remote workforce can be attractive offerings for top talent.
Cloud solutions also make it possible to access your solution from anywhere, as long as you have Internet access. This means your stakeholders can access the solutions your company uses any time the need arises. If a stakeholder needs a crucial financial data point in the middle of a meeting, they can find that information with ease. A cloud solution can facilitate work no matter where you are.
One of the greatest benefits of adopting a cloud solution is that you do not need to invest in any operating systems or hardware to facilitate the solution. SaaS solutions (software as a service) are run and accessed via the cloud. By using a cloud-based solution for your financial management software needs, you only pay for what you’re using – the solution itself.
The low cost and convenience of a cloud solution also applies to updates, as well. If your organization is still using Excel spreadsheets for your accounting activities, you have probably recognized the added cost of keeping up with the latest version of Microsoft Office by upgrading your software license or buying new software every few years. Cloud solution providers generally roll out updates or new versions of their solution periodically and for free. There’s no extra cost or added hassle of transitioning to a new solution. The changes are seamlessly integrated into your operations.
Innovative tools can help your business remain a leading competitor in your industry. Due to the low cost of the solution and the automatic upgrades that your cloud provider generally offers, you can enjoy cloud-only innovations and enhanced features. When your solution provider has a new feature they want to rollout, like more in-depth reporting capabilities, you will have instant access to the feature once it’s released. There is no waiting and no need to pay for added capabilities. You will always be on the forefront of innovative corporate performance management features.
Cloud providers can also be flexible in terms of making a solution fit the user’s needs. Does your business need to automate a specific report that may not come programed into standard CPM solutions? Many cloud providers can customize these features for you, allowing you to avoid the additional cost of software or the added time it takes to build these functions yourself.
No one can predict their business needs for the future. Merging with another company or acquiring a number of new clients in rapid succession could significantly increase your corporate performance management needs. A scalable, flexible cloud-based CPM solution can instantly accommodate any growth your company experiences. There’s no need to invest in additional software or hardware to accommodate new users. You simply work with your vendor to create new accounts.
On the other hand, if your company downsizes operations, you don’t want to pay for user accounts that you no longer need. In the same way that you can instantly add to your user numbers, you can instantly downsize, too. You will only pay for the number of users you actually have, instead of making a big investment in software or hardware that is no longer needed for the future.
A cloud-based corporate performance management solution can improve performance across your organization. By providing employees with a frequently updated, remote accessible solution, your teams will increase functionality and maximize productivity.
Instead of focusing on and managing how your solution runs, you can focus on how your teams are using the solution. By taking the burden of solution management off your shoulders and partnering with a cloud solution vendor, you can improve performance and increase efficiency.
Another aspect of improved performance is the ability of some cloud solutions to integrate with other solutions used in your business each day. This integration makes it possible for you to work with real-time data and improved visibility into numerous aspects of your business, especially with a top corporate performance management solution.
Are you searching for a way to increase uniformity in your processes? Have you invested in solutions in the past, but struggled to get your employees to adopt and use them? With the convenience of cloud computing capabilities, you’ll have an easier time getting your employees to adopt the solution, since they can do so from anywhere, on any device.
Cloud solutions with frequent upgrades for improved usability can also be a positive force for user adoption. When solutions are simple to use, you’ll find less adoption resistance within your teams. A single, cloud-based location for all your corporate management data can make user adoption simple and seamless.
You never know when a disaster might occur. From a simple power outage to a major catastrophe like a fire or natural disaster, you often can’t afford to lose important data or completed work. Automated disaster recovery removes the hassle and risk associated with disaster incidents. You will rest easy knowing that your data is backed up in a secure location when the need arises.
Unlike in-house solutions that could require you to invest in additional servers to facilitate data backup, cloud solution providers help you avoid these costs. Plus, you have the added benefit of your data being stored at a separate location. Offsite backups limit the possibility that a power outage or disaster impacting your business location will impact your backups, too.
Viability for the Future
Whatever the future brings for your company, a cloud-based corporate performance management solution can accommodate your needs. With scalability, regular upgrades, and ongoing performance improvement, you have a cloud-based solution that can grow with your business and remain the right fit for the future. Instead of investing in new solutions or additional upgrades and features to meet your developing needs, you can choose a flexible cloud solution that doesn’t have the limitations of physical hardware.
Ultimately, a cloud solution takes so many of the tedious tasks that come with running and managing your own solution off your shoulders, and allows you to work more efficiently. Instead of focusing on an in-house solution, you can leverage the expertise of a cloud expert to do it for you.
Security in the Cloud: What You Should Know
Why is security an important consideration in your search for a cloud-based file sharing solution? The nature of online risk is changing and becoming more sophisticated each day. As the risk grows, you need adequate security measures in place to keep nefarious parties at bay.
Because corporate performance management solutions house highly sensitive data, from financial information to personal employee information, you need to think carefully about how to protect this data. It is imperative that you use solutions that offer the strongest security measures to help you prevent data breaches. You may worry that using a solution that you access via the internet could expose your data to greater risk. However, top cloud solutions are often leaders in data security standards, providing protection that is not just adequate, but is outstanding.
What to Look for in a Secure Cloud Service Provider?
If you want to feel confident in your cloud solution choice, you need to select a CPM solution with the following security measures in place:
- Advanced Analytics – For both security and audit purposes, you must be able to track the user activities of anyone who has access to your solution. This allows you to determine the point of origin for a data breach if one does occur.
- Threat Detection – When your data is at risk, you need to be altered. Threat detection capabilities ensure you are notified to a data breach before too much damage occurs.
- Access Controls – Being able to control how your CPM solution is used, when it is used, and for what purpose, helps you better control access to your data. Look for a cloud-based solution that gives you power over who can access your solution.
- Certifications – While certifications aren’t a security measure in themselves, they do validate the security measures a solution has in place. Some common certifications to look for include SOC2, ISAE 3402, ISO/IEC: 27001, ISAE 3402, ISO/IEC: 27001, and Skyhigh Enterprise-Ready. Having these certifications ensures you’re making the right choice in a cloud-based solution.
Security should be a top priority for any cloud solution used in your work environment. Prophix, for example, has been dedicated to building a strong and secure foundation, protecting the data customers have entrusted to the solution. Additionally, every customer has their own data security firewall, which means their environments are isolated and monitored, protected even from other Prophix clients.
When you choose a cloud-based corporate performance management solution, you don’t need to worry about investing in, implementing, and maintaining security measures yourself. Your solution provider takes on the burden of keeping your files secure.
How to Ensure Your Cloud Migration is Successful
Leaving your traditional corporate performance management solution behind can be cause for concern, so it’s vital that you’re moving to a new solution that will have a lasting positive impact on your company. The benefits outlined above show that any discomfort or risk associated with change are easily outweighed by the long-term benefits of a having a cloud-based corporate management solution. While migrating to the cloud can happen overnight, a successful migration requires some strategic forethought. If you want your cloud transition to be an easy one, consider the following strategies:
- Prepare Your Team – Communicate the reasons behind the cloud migration, and enumerate the benefits that the new solution will offer. Seek feedback from key stakeholders on what they need out of a CPM solution. When your team is aware of how the implementation process will progress, user adoption will be easier.
- Identify Your Needs – No two companies have the same needs when it comes to cloud-based corporate management solutions. Outline the features that are essential to your team and use that as a starting point for your search.
- Choose the Best Vendor – Choosing the right vendor is as important as choosing the right solution. It’s important that you partner with the right company to facilitate your cloud migration and manage the cloud solution your choose. Ensure you select a vendor that can offer your organization ongoing support as you use their solution into the future.
- Establish a Cloud Migration Plan – Once you have selected the vendor you want to work with, you can collaborate on a cloud migration plan what will lead to a successful implementation. Working out a timeline for training your employees, moving over data, and eventually migration will make everyone more comfortable as they navigate the process.
With the proper strategies in place, your migration to a cloud solution can be a smooth and beneficial one. Cloud-based solutions will only gain in popularity as our reliance on digital tools grows stronger, and moving to a cloud solution now will ensure your needs are met, both today and in the future.
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"Our work developing a personnel planning solution with Prophix’s Detailed Planning Manager puts us way ahead of where we stood when we used spreadsheets."