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Moving to the Cloud is a Strategic Business Decision

Today's guest post is courtesy of our board member, Sharlyn Lauby.  Sharlyn is author of the blog HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc., a South Florida based training and human resources consulting firm focused on working with companies to retain and engage talent. 

2015-11-30_1122I ran across an article the other day that talked about 2016 being the year that federal agencies will finally start adopting the cloud in a big way. It's not a surprise, more organizations are starting to realize that's the future - government included. And not just from a cost perspective.

During this year's KronosWorks conference, I listened to a panel of Kronos customers talk about why they had made the transition to the cloud. As Joyce Maroney, director of the Workforce Institute and the panel moderator, pointed out, they were very strategic decisions.

Business Strategy: Several panel members said that, while they could have managed the technology internally, the company wasn't in the “data center” business. They ultimately realized that the best use of organizational resources isn't always to do everything internally, even when you can.

Talent Strategy: Somewhat related to the business strategy is how the companies wanted to use their talent. Organizations wanted to free up IT staff to manage projects - not necessarily to be in the trenches working on the day-to-day mechanics.

Productivity: The panel members mentioned that, when they were able to free up their IT staff, they found that IT was able to support projects that contributed to organizational growth (versus maintenance.) They also found that downtime was reduced because, with a cloud-based structure, there was a larger group of people watching the status of the system (365/24/7.)

Risk Management: Speaking of downtime, a few organizations mentioned the need to have a disaster recovery plan as part of their reasoning for moving to the cloud. Safety and security are paramount in today's technology driven business world and knowing that data was protected was a key consideration.

Cost: I know that I mentioned earlier that cost wasn't a primary driver for moving to the cloud but the panelists did say that there were cost benefits. They strategically made the transition at a time when they were faced with a few internal infrastructure decisions so that helped make the implementation more practical. They also realized benefits in terms of less hardware purchases and reduced maintenance.

In order to remain competitive in today's business environment, it's important to understand what business you're in, the best use of talent, and proper allocation of organizational resources. Everything the company does needs to align with those strategies. That's the key to profitability and business success.

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