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How Cloud Computing Can Improve Workplace Efficiency
Automated workflow has long been seen as the Holy Grail for many businesses. Setting as many functions as possible to run on autopilot, thereby increasing efficiency and freeing up staff time to deal with other matters is a potential major profit driver. And the good news is that Cloud based services are rapidly revolutionising the concept of automated workflow. It is reducing the cost, to make it far more accessible to even the smallest companies. It is making it easy for companies to develop and sell their own workflow apps. It is allowing automated workflow to reach into systems and shake them up in ways that couldn’t have been dreamed of a few years ago.
The ease with which Cloud-based workflow apps can be understood and utilised by the layman has seen a new swathe of non-techies entering the field - executives, managers, who have identified a blockage in a process that affects them, and a way to clear it, and can now easily experiment to see if they’re correct.
Some examples might be the creation of a simple workflow process whereby every time a new prospective customer enters their email address or phone number onto a website, the details are automatically and instantly emailed to the relevant sales person, popping up on their mobile devices wherever they are in the world. Now this in itself is hardly a new concept, but what has changed is the number of apps available from Cloud providers that enable the process to be configured to an individual company’s requirements fast, and at minimal cost.
Then there are Cloud-based apps that talk to other apps and share data when certain conditions are fulfilled. So one might be driving a car which develops a fault, and even while it’s still moving the onboard computer is sending a message to the manufacturer which can then schedule a call to the driver to book the vehicle in for a service.
So we can see that the Cloud is improving workplace efficiency in at least two distinct ways: firstly be encouraging and enabling innovation, and secondly by spreading the cost of automated workflow processes across multiple users, making it far less expensive so that even a tiny accountancy firm can operate with a level of efficiency akin to a major firm.
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