If yours is one of the many businesses that spent December struggling to keep up with a deluge of Christmas business you might be using January to take a well earned break. You might be revelling in the slowdown in business, pleased to have a chance to catch your breath… or you might be one of the businesses worrying about the troughs that inevitably follow the peaks and wondering how you can insulate your business from such swings of demand.
There’s no magic wand that can smooth out business flows and make it easier to plan and manage your workload but the benefits of cloud computing that I’ve used this blog to explain over the past few months can be instrumental in minimising the impact of elasticity on your business.
Aside from the physical demands of coping with a huge increase in workload, one of the big problems for SMEs is capacity planning. Every business is elastic, and every business will have busy times and slow times. The problem is that historically, capacity planning most often meant ensuring that you had the operational mechanisms in place to deal with your busiest periods.
Knowing that you have the IT back-up to cope with any eventuality is reassuring – and crucial to success – but during slower periods, the cost of maintaining that infrastructure can be crippling. Cloud computing has the power to transform businesses because it brings a new flexibility to capacity planning.
Take the example of Hosted Exchange, hosted e-mail being many people’s first experience of cloud services; in the past, things like the number of mailboxes or server space were fixed. Changing things often took up valuable in-house development time and had significant cost implications. Moving your e-mail to the cloud removes those concerns.
With MessageStream, Hosted Exchange 2010 means that you can scale your business up or down with ease. You’ll only pay for what you use and you can add more mailboxes at the drop of a hat. As well as saving money by streamlining business efficiency, it will be easier to plan for expenditure, you’ll have more peace of mind about being able to cope when things get busy and, most importantly, you’ll know that everything is under control at the touch of a button. Make 2012 the year that your capacity planning really gets in touch with your business and move to the cloud, you won’t look back.