The cloud. In just a few short years, the connotation and meaning behind this simple word has changed drastically, going from strictly a meteorological term to now encompassing an entire technology movement—an on-demand computing capability that is radically transforming how companies perform myriad business tasks, from information storage to cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Taking the place of applications or programs downloaded onto a building’s computer system or server, cloud computing now allows these same resources to be accessed through the internet—saving time, money, and business resources that could be better spent elsewhere. This is especially important for small businesses, many of which lack the bandwidth, physical space, or finances to run multiple systems at once, yet rely on a variety of applications and communication portals (such as e-mail, social media, mobile messaging, etc.) to perform daily tasks.
To this end, cloud-based CRM is incredibly valuable, helping employees keep track of sales progress, project updates, customer changes, and more—all from the same centralized portal accessible and available at any time, anywhere, on any device.
As a provider of cloud-based solutions and apps for sales, service, marketing, collaboration, and analytics, Salesforce is no stranger to this functionality, and makes the case for making the move to the cloud today—including some of the reasons below:
Let’s face it: Business needs rarely stay the same, moving up or down as environment and industry conditions change. The good news is that cloud-based CRM is based on this variability, and equips you to be ready for it. Because the service uses remote servers to scale capacity, it’s easy to add capabilities or remove them as requirements fluctuate, and this flexibility more than just a helpful feature—it’s critical to business success. In fact, according to a recent Gartner survey, global buyers of cloud applications cite operational agility as one of their top reasons for adopting cloud-based services.
Cloud-based CRM means that your sales reps, customer service associates, and marketing pros can take their job functions on the road. No longer confined to office-based systems, they can troubleshoot, close deals, and send campaign updates on-the-go, improving efficiency, collaboration, and customer reach. In addition, real-time connection and file sharing greatly improves operational visibility, leading to more informed and timely decision-making.
Consider how much is invested in your business systems, and how much your company could stand to lose if a resource were lost, stolen, or broken. Hardware and software can be costly to replace, and losing the valuable, irreplaceable, and often sensitive data stored inside of it is a task that can easily leave businesses depleted—and the smaller they are, the more heavy the blow. In fact, a recent Aberdeen study found that small businesses are more than twice as likely as either mid-sized or large enterprises to implement cloud-based backup and recovery solutions. With cloud computing, all data is stored online, so even without access to a machine, it’s still there, and still available. An additional safeguard? You can immediately “wipe data” from lost laptops to ensure it’s inaccessible to anyone without rights.
These are just a few of the ways cloud computing, including cloud-based CRM solutions such as Salesforce, are changing the business technology landscape. As we prepare to enter a new year, industry innovation is undoubtedly on the rise, as is company planning and preparation. There’s never been a better time to leverage the incredible resources at your fingertips.
“Gartner Survey Reveals That SaaS Deployments Are Now Mission Critical,” November 25, 2014, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2923217.
“Why Are Small Businesses Moving to Cloud Backup and Recovery?” Aberdeen Group, May 2014, p.8.
“Why Move To The Cloud? 10 Benefits Of Cloud Computing,” Salesforce U.K., November 17, 2015, https://www.salesforce.com/uk/blog/2015/11/why-move-to-the-cloud-10-benefits-of-cloud-computing.html?d=70130000000i7MP.