During 2020 and 2021, many employees had to work from home and since then, a large number of organisations have continued to offer flexible work options.
Those embracing hybrid work are waving goodbye to their morning commute and the associated costs a few days a week, while also enjoying an improved work-life balance and the freedom to work from anywhere. For employers, hybrid work has enabled them to cut back on overhead costs and improve staff satisfaction.
Following the pandemic more than half of Australian workers say that they prefer hybrid schedules and if not given a choice, nearly 40% would consider quitting. In addition, only 17% of employees would like to return to the office full time.
But while many employers are welcoming the hybrid work model with open arms, this shift toward greater flexibility has also brought about a new challenge: how to ensure staff can securely access necessary company documents from wherever they’re working. This was one of the main drivers behind the accelerated uptake of cloud-based software that we’ve seen in recent times.
Cloud-based software is an effective way to build all of a business’ processes into one convenient paperless system. Because all documentation is stored securely in the cloud, employees can access the information they need whether they are in the office or working remotely. Moreover, day-to-day workflow can be automated, which reduces human error, ensures greater security and speeds-up operations.
With cloud-based software also comes an improved digital user experience, ease of communication between office and remote workers, real-time dashboard monitoring and less document duplication. All of this translates into streamlined systems that are more efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly.
As an innovative compliance solution cloud-based software is continually adapting and advancing to better meet the needs of modern businesses, without sacrificing the ease of the user experience. In this article, we take a closer look at five of the key trends that are shaping cloud-based software as we know it.
Cloud-based software trends
1. Multi and hybrid cloud environments
When making the switch to the cloud or after starting out with one platform, some companies are adopting multi or hybrid cloud solutions.
As businesses become more familiar with the cloud, they’re also becoming less worried about sticking with one vendor.
Rather than committing to just one solution, businesses are exploring the option of implementing various platforms and setting them up to work together. Different platforms will have different strengths and by using this approach, organisations can build the solution that works best for them and their needs.
The strategic decisions companies make are in many cases becoming more fluid and contextual to their specific market and circumstances, as opposed to a “one size fits all” model. As businesses increasingly lean toward more tailored solutions that closely align with their situation and needs, their use of cloud platforms is changing as well. If one platform performs better in a particular area, integrating it into what the business is already doing can help strengthen systems overall.
2. Sustainability drives compliance software uptake
Migrating areas of infrastructure to the public cloud has been shown to reduce a business’ energy consumption by up to 65 per cent and carbon emissions by up to 84 per cent.
Making the move to the cloud allows businesses to reduce server requirements by focusing resources on their essential processes. There’s less energy wasted, which is better for the environment and your bottom line.
In addition, taking measures such as these to improve sustainability can pay off when it comes to attracting and retaining a customer base. 81% of consumers in Australia agree that demonstrating a commitment to sustainability adds value to a brand – and moving toward a more sustainable framework for managing systems could be one aspect of how your business does this.
3. Edge computing
The trend in edge computing is impacting the physical geographical location where cloud data is stored.
With edge computing, companies don’t need to rely on the cloud at a select few data centres to do all the work. Instead, localised data centres for computation and storage are built closer to where they are needed.
By doing this they can offset the load on the cloud, which improves deployment and helps run various applications more effectively.
As edge computing develops over time companies are anticipated to rely less on centralised networks, as computing and management would be handled locally.
4. Improvements in cloud-based software security
Cybercrime poses an ongoing threat to Australian businesses.
During 2021, four in 10 (38%) companies across the country experienced a cyber breach. Australian cybercrime reports found that in the 2020-21 financial year self-reported financial losses due to cybercrime totalled more than $33 billion.
Criminals are constantly advancing their tactics online to take advantage of new technologies and carry out sophisticated attacks. While this can be unsettling for any business, technology solutions are also emerging to combat these threats.
85% of enterprises keep all of their sensitive data in the cloud, according to cloud storage statistics. Thus ensuring that information is safe and secure in the cloud is understandably of the utmost importance. And after switching to the cloud, 94% of businesses saw an improvement in security.
Moreover, cloud-based software is becoming increasingly advanced to help tackle cybercrime and protect important and sensitive data.
Cloud Security Access Brokers (CSABs) are a new option available to businesses. CSABs operate between cloud users and platforms to enforce centralised security measures. This helps to provide greater visibility and control over data and threats in the cloud, which leaves businesses in a better position to avoid falling victim to cyber criminals.
5. Cloud-based software automation
Cloud automation is increasingly being used to further simplify and streamline the management of public, private and hybrid cloud environments.
With automation, companies can reduce and in some cases eliminate altogether certain manual efforts involved in managing cloud-based software workloads and services. Processes are streamlined, which improves efficiencies and frees up more time for employees to spend on meaningful tasks.
Should your business invest in cloud-based software?
If you’re tossing up whether to invest in cloud-based software, you want to make sure whichever decision you make will benefit your company.
One of the main reasons businesses transition to the cloud is to eliminate clunky and outdated paper-based processes. This is essential if you want to achieve ISO compliance, but also makes it far easier to seamlessly manage daily operations and legislative requirements.
In addition, the ability to automate workflow and notifications and get real-time data into your system via online forms can save many hours of data entry and avoid potential errors.
As your business changes over time, whether you’re scaling up or down, your cloud-based software changes with you. Flexible and scalable systems ensure your business has the ability to stay agile. Moreover, you only pay for what you need and use.
The transition process doesn’t need to be overly complicated. This is especially true for businesses that seek out assistance from a consultant with experience helping companies like them make the move.
Transitioning to the cloud can be noticeably quicker than a paper-based system, usually taking about two-thirds of the time. For instance, instead of taking four to six months for a paper-based system, with the cloud it can take three to four months to implement a triple system.
Digital IMS+ and cloud-based software implementation
Created inside of the ultra user-friendly Work OS “Monday.com”, our talented software team has developed the “Digital IMS+”. Digital IMS+ is a unique cloud-based compliance package that’s fully customised to your needs, easy for YOU to use and adapt, and can be expanded to manage any aspect of your business.
Digital IMS+ enables you to build quality business processes in one convenient paperless system. Monitor every aspect of your business in real-time, maximise business performance through workflow automation, enhance communication, effortlessly management compliance, legislation and day-to-day operations, and much more.
At Integrated Compliance Solutions our team follows a four-step process for implementing Digital IMS+.
- Account access: Any software required for Digital IMS+ implementation is set up.
- Customised consulting: Our team does not use a template. We work to understand your business’ unique system requirement. With this approach we can then tailor Digital IMS+ to best support your needs and objectives.
- Digital IMS+ implementation: At this stage we provide dedicated account set up, staff onboarding, one* advanced online form customised to your business, basic automations and integrations related to core workflows and configuration of applicable core modules services. Extra services such as new functionality development can also be arranged.
- Digital IMS+ access, upgrade and support: The final stage is ongoing and includes additional upgrades and support that are required over time. For instance, this may include an Annual System HealthCheck Audit, software support hours per month, legislation updates service and more.
See our cloud-based software page to find out more about Digital IMS+ for your business.