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Feb 16, 2018

Cumulus Global Sponsorship of Economic Forecast Forum Helps Area Businesses Adapt to Changing Economic Conditions

Click to RegisterSmall and midsize businesses in central Massachusetts face new challenges as new tax codes, low unemployment, changing regulations, shifting trade agreements, and inflationary risks impact the regional economy in unpredictable ways. The economy is changing and businesses need to adapt and transform to survive and grow.

Cumulus Global, an award-winning managed cloud service provider based in Westborough, MA, is proud to co-sponsor the Worcester Business Journal’s annual Economic Forecast Forum on February 16, 2018 at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, MA.

“With a sound understanding how national, regional, and local issues effect the business climate, area SMB’s are better prepared to thrive and grow,” stated Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global.

As a supporting sponsor, Cumulus Global is helping empower owners and leaders to make timely, effective decisions. Forum attendees will hear from Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, Executive Vice President & Senior Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, along with a panelist of area business and government leaders. Cumulus Global will be on hand to discuss the changing role of technology how businesses can draw more value from existing IT systems and new cloud services.

Friday Thought: Is it Time to Move?

With the popular media focus on the economy, it is natural for the “Tech” press to report on the impact of current economic conditions on IT plans and spending.  Much of the discussion has focused on whether companies will spend on IT initiatives or will they hold off until the economy improves.

I prefer to ask a different question:

On what will you be spending your IT dollars?

For me, IT spending is not a matter of if, organizations should focus on what and when.

For many reasons, now is the time to move to cloud solutions.

  • Ability to Move: For many small and mid-size enterprises, boom times are too busy to upgrade IT systems.  During a slow-down, companies can allocate resources to IT projects more easily.  Successful IT projects are not just technical, they need the involvement and support of managers and end users.
  • OpEx vs CapEx: Upgrading traditional in-house systems requires up front capital, requiring many businesses to borrow or to use valuable cash on hand.  Given the current economy and credit markets, both options pose a challenge.  Cloud Solutions, on the other hand, are an operating expense.  You pay for what you use, when you use it.
  • Lower Costs: For most organizations, cloud solutions will save them money.  Not just in terms of dollars out the door, but in terms of improved communications and efficiency.
  • Stagnation: Organizations that fail to maintain and upgrade their technologies risk stagnation.  “Catch up” efforts always cost more than prudent maintenance and incremental updates.
  • Preparedness: When the economy turns around and growth returns, will you be ready?  Sound planning and effective improvements can prepare you for the next uptick in business and your next round of growth.

Interest in learning more about how cloud solutions might benefit your organization?  Contact me.  I am happy to explore opportunities and options with you.

Economy is Ripe for Cloud Computing

A recent article in the New York Times reported that in the current economy, businesses are spending capital rather than hiring additional employees.  As reported in the article, the Commerce Department noted that

“The equipment and software category alone grew at an annual rate of 21.9 percent, the fastest pace in 12 years.”

When we look  at the stats and trends, we see businesses moving forward with project that have been put on hold.  And, we question whether or not this is a wise move.  Is moving forward with a project that’s been on hold for 12 to 24 months still the best way to go? In many cases, the answer is “No!”.

Many businesses are facing upgrades to core systems and infrastructure — desktop operating systems, office productivity tools, email servers — and are looking to finally move forward implementing collaboration systems.  Much of this demand is driven by aging hardware and software that is reaching end of life and vendor support.

Before moving forward with existing plans, businesses would do well to reassess their planned directions.  The past 24 months has seen a dramatic improvement and expansion of cloud-based services.  During that time, for example, Google has added over 200 major features to the Google Apps Premier Edition suite of services.  And, the rate of innovation and adoption for cloud computing solutions continues to accelerate.

If businesses do not take a fresh look, they stand to miss the improved integration between Google Apps and Windows desktops — Outlook and MS Office; support for enterprise features such as delegation of email and calendars and mobile device management tools; and improve security and management tools.

In short, what was leading edge is quickly moving mainstream.  Reactivating projects without reassessing options means potentially missing better solutions and lowering costs.  And, wouldn’t most businesses rather spend money on people and projects with greater returns than on their infrastructure and email?

If your business would benefit from a free email and collaboration assessment, please let us know.