Cloud computing services have a feature that conventional enterprise IT can never have. Unlike in-house hardware and software licenses that come in indivisible lumps (you can’t buy half a server), with the cloud you can take as little or as many cloud resources as you want. That makes moving to the cloud a far more flexible proposition, in addition to all of its additional advantages.
Successful wholesalers are taking advantage of the ‘wholesale-or-retail-or-have-it-your-way’ nature of cloud services to get what they need immediately and at a budget that makes sense. Here’s a taxonomy of wholesaler users ranging from ‘toe in the water’ to ‘full-blown cloud-centric.’
First We Try, then We Trust
From data storage to computing power to vertical industry applications, reputable cloud services are also underpinned by elasticity, scalability, availability, reliability, and lower costs. Not to mention better IT security than many organizations can manage in their own IT installations.
Some wholesalers understandably want to test a little before investing more. Cloud services are well adapted to small, temporary test or pilot projects with no massive outlay required.
Cost-Efficiency for Overflow and Expansion
Next come the wholesalers that see the advantages of cloud computing, but already have IT installations of their own to amortize. The elasticity and scalability of cloud services applies here too. Think of peak IT processing needs or seasonal loads, for instance.
It can make more sense to rent extra cloud capacity just for the time needed, rather than buy extra IT hardware that will stand idle afterwards. As operations grow, try moving to the cloud smoothly and gradually rather than signing big checks for expensive boxes and their software.
Increasing Mobility and Collaboration
Many cloud-based applications and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) also score points with their strengths in mobile computing and collaboration, between your own employees and with your chosen business partners.
Customer relationship management, marketing automation, accounting, logistics and supply chain management are all available in the cloud. Guarantees of compliance for wholesale users in regulated industries (healthcare for example) are available for different solutions.
Simpler Office Moves and Business Continuity
Sorting out in-house IT as departments move around can be a nightmare. Cloud solutions on the other hand don’t have to be moved anywhere. Users can connect from any location they like as long as sufficient security precautions are taken.
The resilience of cloud solutions also makes them good for business continuity. This is the ability to continue to function in conditions of flooding, denial of access to buildings and other disasters, or in other words to “take a lickin’ and still keep tickin’.”
Cloud-Centric from the Ground Up
You could run a wholesale company today using only cloud-based data and applications. For some enterprises, legacy systems already in place may make that transition slower or more delicate.
It may not be easy to immediately reproduce in other environments the business logic they contain. But for new departments or distributors, the case for starting with the cloud from day one gets stronger every day.
How fast will you be moving to the cloud? Tell us how you see the opportunities and challenges of taking your business online in the Comments box below.
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