Doing #business in the cloud, part 1: return on investment

Mar 4, 2016

Any time you think of doing business you very quickly come down to cost. Business is expensive. There are so many variables to consider but at the end of the day it is all about being profitable.

So what about this whole cloud thing? What is the money factor involved in cloud and some of the variables a business needs to consider before switching their current service?

But before looking at cost, the first question that needs to be answered is what parts of my business potentially can move to the cloud? Once you know what you want to move, you can quantify the costs and decide if there is sufficient value in making the move.

You can:

Project Manage in the cloud:

Even if you still manage projects on Excel spreadsheets, you can take project management to the cloud, making one set of official documents accessible to the entire project team, in the office or in the field. Or move into dedicated cloud-based project management tools to really step up efficiency and communication.

Do Accounting in the cloud:

Gone are the days of manual data entry or being able to generate financial reports from only a specific dedicated workstation. Get all your information shared directly from system to system, with real-time reporting.

Deal with your Business Continuity in the cloud:

What do you do when disaster strikes? Go to the cloud and find your business continuity plan, critical documents, and backup systems standing by.

Industry-specific mission-critical apps can be in the cloud:

Medical recordkeeping, inventory control, project bidding… whether custom developed or delivered by best-of-breed cloud services, the services are now available to move pretty much anything into the cloud.

Give any mobile or field worker a workstation in the cloud:

The anywhere workplace has arrived. Someone in the northern bush or a downtown café can have the same access to documents, applications and fellow employees.

So what about the return on investment?

Now that you have some idea of what business you could actually do in the cloud, let’s start talking about return on investment.

In this first scenario, let’s just talk about Office 365 as a switch point as it has proven to be one of the best enterprise cloud platforms out there for productivity and communication. Properly implemented, Office 365 has the potential for an incredible ROI, as described in a Forrester Consulting report on the Total Economic Impact™ of Microsoft Office 365 in enterprise environments (click here to view a summary pdf or click here to download a pdf version).

In aggregate, the businesses interviewed reported a reduction in support and licensing costs and an improvement on their I.T. return on investment.

  • 11.9% less IT support costs for legacy systems
  • 11.2% less Microsoft licensing costs
  • 9.4% less procurement and third-party software license costs


Moving to Office 365 means reduced infrastructure costs. No need to spend money on purchasing and maintaining in-house servers and server licenses, and less cost for implementation and ongoing support. One client that CompuVision moved to Office 365 saved themselves nearly $80,000 in upfront technology costs.

  • 40% less implementation costs
  • 50% reduction in resources required for support

Control and Security

Office 365 provides strict security measures when it comes to your data. The enterprise grade software in Office 365 has been recognized around the world as a leader in cloud security. Need more in terms of email encryption or legal archiving requirements? It’s not much more than the flip of a switch.

  • 6.8% reduced compliance costs
  • 73% reduction in data breaches
  • 32% decrease in the cost of data breaches


One of the main benefits of Office 365 is the fact you can have anywhere workplaces. Mobility is one of the key factors in this modern workplace scenario, allowing you to take your work wherever you need to go.

Based on the report, businesses have claimed they’ve seen a massive increase in productivity amongst their employees since moving to Office 365.

  • 42% of companies saw an increase in worker productivity
  • 38% reported happier employees because of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies
  • 33% reported less user downtime

Doing business in the cloud in the right scenario, with the right products, services, and expertise during the migration process, does get you more for your money. With low upfront costs and the flexibility to add users and services as needed, Office 365 provides a high ROI for a move to business in the cloud.

In the coming weeks, we will explore some of the other areas where your business could move into the cloud…

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