Technology is moving quickly in today’s world, which can feel overwhelming at times. But the beauty of emerging tech tools is that it can mean greater opportunity for business growth if your organizational structure is willing to adapt.
Cloud technology is one such enabling technology we’ve seen introduced that has been shaking up the business world. In the simplest terms, cloud technology allows you to store and access data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive or on premise servers. In less simple terms, cloud technology is changing how businesses operate, especially regarding their IT strategy and organizational structure.
Considering whether to subscribe to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology or replacing your internal servers with virtual servers are business decisions that leaders now need to make.
Here are some considerations:
- Team Size and Location
With cloud technology, many organizations are seeing a shift away from big teams to smaller teams that are globally-distributed and linked together by technology. Whereas before team members had to live in the same city to work together, with cloud technology teams can be remote and work all over the world. This can come with challenges — communication can be more difficult when you can’t just walk down the hall — but there is also potential for business growth if you had team members in other cities with other perspectives.
- Flattened Organizational Structure for Cross-Team Collaboration
For many businesses, formal pyramid hierarchy is less of a focus nowadays. Instead, teams are shifting to a flattened organizational structure, which focuses on cross-team collaboration and employees taking ownership of business adaptation and success.
Before the introduction of cloud technology and the Internet, many parts of the business worked separately. Products were developed first and then sent to marketing once completed. The delivery and warehouse team rarely connected with the sales staff. But in today’s shifting world and with so much added competition, collaboration and communication is key. Product development may want to speak with sales and marketing before creating something new, to see what customers are asking for. Customer service may have valuable insights for the delivery team about how to provide a better customer experience.
- SaaS Applications for Virtual Connection
SaaS products can allow for more cross-team collaboration, especially if you are working remotely. Having a simplified and single virtual platform can let your team work on the same documents at the same time from anywhere in the world. It can cut down on the slog of chain emails while keeping the channels open for clear, ongoing discussion. The downsides are that it may rely on outside vendors to keep the software running and can require some initial training and financial investment to set up. But once it’s going, SaaS can be a valuable collaboration tool.
- Internal vs. Virtual Servers and Other Technology
As more business operations shift to the cloud, it begs the question of how much resources you need to expend on your internal IT. If you’re storing data on virtual cloud servers, are you continuing to use your internal servers at capacity? There may be opportunity to shift. Additionally, with teams becoming more remote or using more SaaS products, the amount of office equipment you need may be able to be pared back. Does it make more sense for your business to have in-office desktop computers, or a portable bring-your-own-device model? These are all questions that you’ll need to consider when building an IT strategy.
- Real-Time Feedback and Adaptation
In a cloud-based world, you may find your IT strategy coinciding closely with your customer experience strategy. Since much customer service is done online these days and research shows that potential clients often look at a business’ website and social media presence before making a purchase, your IT strategy needs to reflect and support that. Whether it’s incorporating customer service technology such as chatbots or making sure that the user experience service is optimized, IT strategy is no longer just about maintaining your internal systems.
With cloud technology, business is evolving quickly, but that doesn’t mean abandoning what works well. Adapting your organizational structure and IT strategy should be done mindfully and strategically. A qualified business consultant can help your organization find the sweet spot between old and new.
SHEA Global can help ensure your financial systems and technology align with your business strategy. Learn more about our solutions at SHEAGlobal.com or call 1-866-239-1113.