We recently discussed the importance of having small business cloud solutions customized for a number of beneficial reasons.

Not all companies operate in the same way, and all cloud solutions don’t fit perfectly “out of the box.” 

In this article, we’re going to discuss in more detail how tailoring your cloud services to match your company needs can reduce your costs in several ways. While cloud adoption and spending on virtual IT solutions is still at the top of most small business priority lists, business owners also prioritising saving money. 

In 2020, 56% of businesses are planning to either reduce or keep their IT budgets the same as the previous year. Once you have cloud solutions in place, the way to continue to get more out of them while also improving your bottom line is having them customized and adopted to more efficient workflows. What exactly does that look like for a small business in Singapore, or anywhere else in the world? We’ll go through a few examples that you can use as jumping-off points for your own tailored cloud strategy.

Integrations That Save Time

You’ll often find more than one cloud platform being used by a company for their daily operations. For example, you may have one that’s used for all types of customer support (phone, web form, support tickets), another used for accounting, and yet another that collects online orders. Without customization of either of these platforms, your office could be spending time on a daily basis to input data from one system into another. Let’s say a team was using a workflow like this:

  • An online order comes in through WooCommerce
  • Employee 1 spends 5 minutes inputting the data into Zendesk CRM
  • Employee 2 spends 8 minutes inputting the order into QuickBooks Online
  • Employee 3 spends 4 minutes manually creating the shipping label

That’s approximately 17 minutes for every order spent on manual entry. That doesn’t include the potential for keying errors and the time it takes correcting those once they’re discovered. Say that they have 10 orders that come in per weekday that have to be handled in the same way. That’s slightly over 14 hours per week spent keying that data manually. At an average rate of $20 per hour, that’s $280.00 per week. With customization of those three separate cloud platforms to integrate them and automate data sharing, that company’s workflow to handle orders could look like this instead:

  • Online orders come in through WooCommerce
  • The order is automatically sent to Zendesk and QuickBooks Online, either adding a new record for the order or updating an existing customer record
  • The shipping label is automatically generated using an add-on to QuickBooks

The above cloud service customization could save the small business $1,120.00 each month, assuming the data in the example.

Security Controls to Prevent Breaches

Cloud platforms will often come with various security features you can use, but they’re not defaulted. It requires cloud service customization to take advantage of many of those features and use them to protect your data.

For this example, we’ll take a look at a feature in Office 365 and Microsoft 365 called “sensitivity labels” and how they can be used to improve data security. Say a small business is using Office 365 to for their document storage and productivity, through use of Word, Outlook, Excel, etc. On any given day, that office can be creating public content and also be creating sensitive content that needs extra protection. All documents are being stored in the same companywide OneDrive cloud storage system, accessible by the entire team.

All it takes is an employee sending a confidential file to the wrong person through Outlook or accidentally sharing the wrong folder link over social media to cause a major data breach. With the help of an Office 365 customization to put sensitivity labels in place, instead of data being unmarked and at risk, each document as it’s created can be given a classification. Each of those classifications (public, confidential, secret, etc.) can apply security policies like:

  • Document watermarks
  • No sharing, no copying rules
  • Automated labeling of sensitive emails
  • Block access by those without proper permissions

This type of automated document security by tailoring the use of Office 365 can save a company as much as $3.9 million USD (the average cost of a data breach.)

Other Customizations

There are multiple customizations that can be done for you by an IT pro, like the team at Managed IT Asia. We can address areas like customer support, productivity, and workflow to streamline your day-to-day operations. We take an approach that looks at your business needs and processes first, identifies any stuck points your employees are facing, and then tailors the cloud tools you’re using to make your office more productive.

Improve Your Bottom Line & Get More from Your Cloud Solutions

Managed IT Asia can help you get the most from your cloud solutions while also saving you money. Contact us today for a free cloud customization consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.

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MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!