Migrating to the cloud as part of a digital transformation strategy is common nowadays. It’s clear moving to cloud-based ways of working holds major benefits for professional services firms, from cost savings to scaling your data storage up and down with ease.
The professional services market is becoming increasingly competitive due to the introduction new technologies, so let’s see how you can maintain a competitive edge through digital transformation and cloud migration:
How do the benefits of digital transformation link to the cloud?
All businesses in the professional services industry strive to increase their profitability, efficiency and proactivity, which is why you must look towards creating an effective digital transformation strategy. This will allow you to keep ahead of your competition by reacting quickly to ongoing changes, from regulatory changes to increased project demand, enhancing your service delivery in turn.
Digital transformation often focuses on improving the following areas within your processes:
- Customer experience
- Operational agility
- Culture and leadership
- Workforce enablement
Cloud migration is a logical step for any digital transformation project. Below, we look at how they link together and the benefits they offer:
1. Improves cash flow
With no server and infrastructure costs, this provides an opportunity to significantly reduce capital expenditure after migrating to the cloud. By streamlining business workflows and eliminating overheads on outdated solutions, you can cut unnecessary costs and enable digital transformation with more resources focused on improving customer experience.
2. Enhances your business agility
In the professional services market, timing is key when delivering projects to your customers. However, with outdated, disparate systems that need manually updating, this can delay a projects timeframe due to having unreliable data. This is why it’s important to centralise your data so you can easily find the information that’s the most up-to-date. This not only reduces the need for data entry, but also eliminates the risk of duplication and errors.
And by hosting your data in the cloud, you can foster cross-team collaboration regardless of location, which helps your teams work together more efficiently to meet project deadlines.
Migrating to the cloud also increases your ability to respond to issues. For example, if a document has been accidentally deleted by a consultant during a project, this can be recovered as data can be automatically backed up to the cloud. Without this, the deleted file may be lost forever, negatively affecting your project deadlines and customer relationships.
3. Your teams can work remotely from any device
If your systems are based in the cloud, all you need to access them is an internet connection. This allows your users, whether office-based or remote, to have the same access to the business systems anytime and anywhere.
A recent PwC workforce survey found that 22% of employees say they are planning to move more than 50 miles away from the office either temporarily or permanently, even after the pandemic. This means that by migrating to the cloud, , you can enable your teams to still work closely with their customers from remote locations.
This aids digital transformation as it adapts to today’s more flexible, remote workforce. Supporting a remote workforce requires digital transformation and, to do that, you need the cloud (public, private or hybrid).
4. You can be more scalable
The rapid growth of modern technology creates a reliance on your systems to offer flexibility, so you can best accommodate to the needs of today and in the future. As the cloud allows you to scale up and down with ease with no reliance on traditional IT infrastructures, you can save both time and money when you come to add new features as part of your future transformation projects.
How can the right partner help you with your cloud migration?
The right partner should ensure your software is running at optimum levels at all times, and safeguard against any errors before implementing them into your processes. This however creates the need of choosing the right partner to work with for your digital transformation project.
Here are some questions you should ask:
- Are they familiar with the professional services industry? Rules and regulations often change around areas such as GDPR, so ensure you choose a partner who’s well equipped with industry knowledge
- Will they understand your business objectives? Every business wants to improve their agility, productivity and resource management, and the right partner should accommodate towards your business goals. For instance, by helping you understand how to best prioritise your goals, this will assist you in getting the most value out of your migration
- What relationships do they have with other vendors? By knowing the deliverability of your potential partners transformation projects, you can better understand whether they can meet your needs
At Columbus, we offer extensive managed services capabilities that can ensure your digital platforms remain stable and evolve with your every need. To learn more about our offerings and how they can benefit your digital transformation plans, download our brochure below:
5. Improves security and supports your workforce
Regulatory changes are forever changing, including updates on data protection policies, and your ability to keep up with these will rest on your security processes. 72% of information security leaders state that cloud computing represents a top digital transformation priority, allowing them to remain compliant by keeping up with current standards.
When it comes to protecting your internal data, a lot of businesses assume that security is safer in their own hands. However, with the 24/7 manpower and the high costs associated with keeping your own data safe, its all on you. Instead, migrating your data to the cloud offers data monitoring around the clock, freeing up your teams’ time by automatically detecting breaches before they happen.
Additionally, security measurements can easily be adjusted based on the user requirements. This will enable you to provide authorisation on selected files and devices, offering access only for those who you want to share information with. For instance, if a consultant needed access to a file for a project with a client, you could provide restrictions such as the amount of time they can view the documents for and include or remove editing capabilities.
6. Offers better collaboration with actionable analytics
With all users having access to the same systems from anywhere at any time, your employees can take advantage of cross-team collaboration across all areas of their projects and pipelines. Teams can make live edits to data and ensure information is always up-to-date, as well as have access to accurate data whilst on-the-move.
This benefits digital transformation as it gives firms the ability to combine data, such as customer information, from previously disparate sources. Centralised data allows you to quickly view snapshots of the information you need and make more informed business decisions.
Without working via the cloud, this can restrict you from gaining a complete overview of your processes. Anything can change due to the complexity of a project, and if multiple people are working on a task through different systems, this could lead to confusion and miscommunication if information isn’t kept up-to-date.
Discover how you can achieve better business agility today
The professional services landscape is constantly changing, which is why it’s important for businesses to be as agile as possible to safeguard against any potential challenges. In our checklist, we address how you can achieve better agility through five key stages, so you can thrive in any business environment.
Interested? Download it below.