RazoRSharp Networks Logo inside cloud icon. BANKING ON THE CLOUD RazoRSharp Networks a Technology Integrator & Cloud Service Providers is Bank on the Cloud At the time of this post (end of 2013-beginning of 2014) you didn’t need to be an economist to understand what what was going on in the economy. If you’ve been living under a rock and hadn’t heard already, it’s wasn’t good.  As you read this today this may have changed.  However what we know won’t change is that the competition for business is more heated than ever due to the high demand for quality customers. Whether you are a small, medium, or enterprise sized business, you have to be able to attract customers and keep them happier for longer than the next person. A new generation, both as employees and also as consumers are entering the market. They are a generation of on-demanders who look for companies that provide tools to help keep them engaged and entertained. Your business may be researching and/or have adopted these cloud based technologies already.  These technologies will rule the market for years to come and provided many advantages over their predecessors. Don’t know if it’s true? Well, let’s look at the writing on the wall and you can make up your mind for yourself. Although cloud technologies appears to be a new concept, it may not be as new as you think. Yahoo, in 1994, implemented one of the first cloud technologies ready and available for use to the public. Yahoo mail was one of the first applications delivered over the internet for widespread use to consumers. Since then the idea has stayed the same, deliver Software Services or, as the industry categorizes it, Software as a Service (SaaS) for free or by monthly subscription so that an individual and/or company does not have to invest in the infrastructure themselves. That happened back in 1994…so why did it take almost 15 years for Cloud Technologies to take hold? connect intune banner 02 RazoRSharp Support SignupPossible Answer…Resources; back in 1995, less than 20% of the US had access to Broadband Internet. In 2000 it grew to 44% and in 2010, almost 77% of the population had access to Broadband Internet.  (Facebook and Google plan to connect billions of people not on the internet.) With the explosion of the Internet we have access to on demand products and services.  So over the past 3-5 years there has been an explosion of service providers taking advantage of this new business environment providing cloud infrastructure, and cloud services. [toggle header=”So, is this just marketing fluff or is this the wave of the future?”] Let’s talk about it; companies like Microsoft who, for the most part, has made billions of dollars selling on premise software have adopted the cloud for their most popular Office Products in the Cloud. We might ask ourselves how a software giant like Microsoft stands to win with the widespread adoption of the Cloud Technologies.[/toggle] [toggle header=”Understand the value of Cloud Technologies!”]What the industry recommends is that you upgrade your software every 3-4 years. Microsoft reports that some people hold on to their licensing for almost 7 years. What that means is that most businesses are running on technology that is almost 10 years old. How can a company expect to keep up with their competition with tools that are 10 years old.  There are two answers; 1) You go out and invest in the latest and greatest tools to improve your business, you deliver a better customer experience and you squeeze out your competition for those rare customers that are buying. Or 2) you are squeezed. For most businesses it’s not an option. If you’re not growing, you’re dying and most people just don’t know it yet. The” hold and wait” doesn’t work. The rate at which smart business is growing will accelerate over the next 3-5 years to a point that will put most businesses in the hold and wait phase of their business, out of business. The good news is there are companies that are growing. They are investing in marketing, sales, and customer service tools. They are delivering better products and services, and for all companies that are in the hold and wait phase of their business, you can always go work for one of these agile companies that understand that the business world has transformed and it will continue to transform and accelerate.[/toggle] Microsoft Cloud IconMicrosoft, the giant in software and the leader in business technology understands business, and they understand the need to provide the tools businesses need.  If they don’t they too will fall to competitors like Google and IBM. So what did Microsoft do, they invest eight billion (more than any other company) into building a cloud service offering, and pledge to provide 90% of their software via the cloud. What Microsoft did was trade a lump sum purchase every 5-7 years for a monthly service fee. They stand to make even more money by offering their software for less money to the consumer, because everyone will pay each month instead of every 5-7 years.  Consumers will get all the upgrades at no additional cost so their tools will always be up to date. Microsoft doesn’t have to wait for the upgrade anymore.  It creates a win-win for Microsoft and for small business. [toggle header=”RazoRSharp Networks investment in cloud technologies.”] RazoRSharp Networks saw this and decided to follow suit. We adopted cloud technologies internally and started providing it to our customers about four years ago when the post was written.  This technology has provide us and our customers access to powerful enterprise tools for a fraction of the cost of deploying it on-primes.  RazoRSharp continues to test and provide applications, support and infrastructure through the cloud and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.  This was a leap of faith and our team banked on making the transition before most of the industry. Our investment has paid off for our company and our customers. Now more than ever, businesses need the latest and greatest tools to provide an integrated environment for their employees and their customers. Still a skeptic? You might be business savvy and doing alright, well the story doesn’t stop there. Remember, earlier in this article, I spoke about a new generation of workers and consumers. Well, we have the eco boomers now entering the workforce and starting to become consumers and they rival the baby boomers who shaped the last 40 years of our economy. So here are some of the characteristics of these Gen “Y” ers. They have attitude, they’re financially smart, they’re looking for a work/life balance, they’re comfortable with change, and they’re looking for a more relaxed environment to work in. If you’re looking to recruit these high performers, you will need to make sure that you provide the environment that they’re comfortable with. They have been honing their skills since the day they were born and you’d better be able to keep them engaged; if not, they’re going to be hired by your competition. This presents a real challenge for most businesses, and one of the simple answers is the adoption of The Cloud to insure your environment is always up to date.[/toggle] If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with a member of our team, please call our offices at 707.676.8900 or contact us and we will be happy to support your business in any way that we can.