As more and more companies transition to remote working – including contact centres and both sales- and support-driven organisations – in addition to the accessibility needed to give everyone the tools they need, there’s a growing need for flexibility, scalability, and security.

Cloud computing offers all of these and more. Digital transformation is a long term commitment. Let’s consider how companies can get started.

Reviewing Your IT Infrastructure
Any move towards digital transformation – whether the aim is to enable remote working or to futureproof your business IT – needs to begin with ensuring the software and services you’re planning to use can be easily migrated to a cloud service.

Often the ability to do so with ease varies between businesses in different sectors. For example, companies in, say, finance, healthcare, or insurance, may be reliant on legacy apps and software that have been hosted on-premise for a number of years.

While vertical software providers – like Unit4 – are already mapping routes to the cloud for their customers, others are somewhat hesitant. Ensuring the provider your business is working with has an established path to migration is critical – or it may be time to search for a new provider.

Adopting A Phased Approach
It’s clear that larger enterprises with older systems will also need to consult with their suppliers and review their hardware and software commitments, smaller businesses are often able to migrate services to the cloud much more easily.

The learning curve is even less steep for those already using SaaS-based services, so often a phased approach is a more effective way to stagger the transition.

In scenarios like these, it may be that your staff can work from home more easily – using a Microsoft 365’s suite of software services – but more complex tools like an ERP will take time to integrate into a cloud set up.

Digital transformation doesn’t have to be an overnight endeavour, and with more services available in SaaS form, companies only need to pay for what they use – scaling up or down as needed, giving different departments more autonomy over the services they choose, independent of IT decision-making in many cases.

Innovation Means Integration
Many different cloud-based tools have been critical in facilitating business continuity throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the use of different video, audio, and messaging-based communications tools – from Zoom to WhatsApp.

Innovation and integration are closely linked here – and are a great example of how different services can work together in tandem to provide a working set of solutions.

However, customisation is becoming increasingly important too, such as the ability to pull in different communication channels and data when dealing with clients and customers – regardless of the size of your organisation.

This is also more broadly reflected in a variety of cloud-based solutions too – the ability to integrate different custom applications, so that the required industry software can be used to best effect.

All things considered, moving to the cloud offers different advantages, and given the rate of change, it won’t be long until pretty much all businesses will choose to run their businesses in this way – for all of the reasons mentioned and others.

But, it does require both a physical and mindset shift – one that may seem challenging in the short-term, but will ultimately prove to be wholly beneficial in the long run.