Scalability isn’t only about increasing profits with less input. It’s also about agility. It’s about a company’s ability to respond quickly to the demands of a changing market—or its ability to expand into new markets—and profit. Said another way, a company that scales is a company that remains successful for several years or even 124 years, like General Electric.
For a company of any size to reach a level of continued success, its individual departments need to have the tools for scalability. Departments, such as HR, accounts payable, and sales need to be in the cloud.
Salesforce’s report, “Benchmarks” covers six benchmarks, but for our purposes, let’s see how four of those directly relate to cloud computing:
1. Going mobile: Redefining the workplace
Being able to work anywhere is great for productivity and employee morale. It’s also a boon for employers as they can hire the best candidates anywhere in the world.
To take advantage of a mobile and remote workforce however, a company’s infrastructure should be up to that task.
Cloud-based services, or SaaS (software as a service), allows any person with an internet connection to contribute and collaborate to get work done. This is similar to a thin or headless client; software runs on an external computer and users connect to it.
Fundamentally, the cloud is about abstracting and externalizing the tools employees need. It also helps strengthen security and makes complying to industry standards easier.
2. Analytics and action: Working with the data
Insights are gleaned by pooling data. Even when data is contained in disparate spreadsheets and databases, it can still be analyzed. A cloud-based infrastructure lays the foundation for this type of analytics by centrally storing the data.
It’s the interconnected nature of the cloud that allows smart decisions to be made from the data available. What’s more, third parties are now creating bridges that connect multiple cloud instances together. This allows decision makers to extract even more intelligence from the data that’s available.
3. Automation: Making data work for you
Companies have lined up the one-two punch with mobile computing and data insights. Now they can go for the knock-out by following best practices with automation.
Automation empowers companies to do more with less resources. Accounts payable, sales, and HR can share data and complete tasks faster. For example, sales’ commissions can be paid faster and with less hassle when performance numbers and payroll’s software communicate with each other. These tasks, which usually require several hours and much oversight, can now be done in a few moments with a single click.
And that’s just one example of automation.
Marketing departments have been privy to this type of automation for several years. Marketers have been able to execute email campaigns on one platform that target contacts on a separate CRM platform.
The power is really in discovering ways to connect the different pieces.
4. Dynamic: Stacking it up or stacking it down
By combining the benefits of cloud-based services—mobility, analytics, and automation—companies gain a competitive advantage. The ability to scale on the fly is what sets a cloud-based company apart from companies that rely on legacy technology.
It makes investment in capital easier. Instead of basing infrastructure purchases on projections, cloud-based infrastructure allows companies to turn up the dial when more speed, more storage, or even more resources are needed.
Conversely, the dial can also be turned down when resources need to be scaled back. Cloud infrastructure protects a company from market uncertainties and can strengthen its bottom line. Scalability is, after all, a contraction for “ability to scale.”
While Salesforce reports the practices of successful businesses, they stopped short on stating the common denominator to these successes: cloud-based services. Successful companies, regardless of size, understand the importance of the cloud.