In our recent article, Cloud Decision Makers – Who’s Calling The Shots, we talked about who’s really making the cloud purchase decisions in an organization. CIOs still have the majority of influence on the cloud purchasing process; however, this is becoming much more collaborative, and the respective heads of marketing, sales, finance, and HR are playing a bigger part.
So, what types of cloud services and solutions do each of these departments consider "must-have" business tools to grow and run their business more effectively? Let’s take a look at a few by department.
The Sales Department
Most sales organizations rely heavily on CRM tools to store and manage their customer contact information like names, addresses, and phone numbers. CRM also enables them to keep track of customer activity like phone calls, email, and more. Historically, an organization would have stored this information on-premise, and often it resided on multiple servers, PCs, and storage devices. The risks of losing this data, or accidentally sharing it with the competition were immense, not to mention the challenges with keeping it updated. Now, an organization can store their CRM data in the cloud using software-as-a-service. Applications are delivered over the Internet, and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and from any device. This not only saves time, but ensures data is current and secure. An administrator can simply switch off a users access to the data at any time.
The Marketing Department
These days most businesses have a social media presence, and are active on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These sites allow organizations to share various types of information with their customers and prospects including, their successes, news and updates about their product or services, and even recruit new employees. Managing social media largely falls under the responsibility of the marketing department; however, they need a platform that connects their social media applications with the cloud.
The HR Department
For many human resources departments, the move to cloud-based software is inevitable. Tasks like hiring, identifying talent, managing workforces, and payroll are made much easier using cloud applications that consolidate up-to-date information, making it accessible from anywhere, at any time . The cloud also enables organizations to use data to understand their business. Business leaders are asking HR for more strategic input, and cloud technologies are giving them better tools with which to respond.
The Finance Department
Analytics, big data, security, and getting information quickly are all top of mind for finance professionals. A CFO can no longer rely solely on spreadsheets to deliver critical information to the business. Cloud computing is a key enabler for transformational change in the finance department, and cloud solutions like file sharing, electronic signing, and payment processing are making a real difference in their daily operations. Furthermore, cloud also delivers financial professionals the scalability and flexibility to meet the changing needs of the business over time.
A cloud service provider understands that each business department has its own challenges, and knows which cloud tools and solutions will make them more successful. Their role of ‘trusted advisor’ has never been more important than in the cloud.