Chinese New Year is traditionally a time of joy and good tidings – but it can be a headache for businesses. For many, the holiday season coincides with their peak business period, resulting in the tricky combination of decreased productivity and increased consumer activity, thus bringing added stress.
Malaysia’s labour productivity clocked an impressive growth of 4.2% in 2017, higher than the yearly average goal of 3.7% under the 11th Malaysia Plan (RMK11) for the period of 2016 – 2020. One of the main thrusts of Malaysia’s Productivity Blueprint is to spearhead the digital drive and to help businesses better tap on innovative technologies. With around 93% of businesses already using the cloud in some form, and worldwide public cloud services revenues expected to grow by 18.5 per cent in 2017 to a total USD260bn, up from USD219.6bn last year, there’s a reason companies should turn to cloud, so let’s look at five benefits that cloud-based technology brings to your business during peak seasons like Chinese New Year.
Cloud technology encourages collaboration, making it easy for people around the globe to connect, communicate and share information. It’s simple to store, view and edit information in one central location, and documents are updated in real time. Everyone’s kept in the loop and colleagues can ‘meet’ virtually, no matter where they are in the world. Better collaboration brings a heap of ang paos to the table, including boosted productivity, improved customer service and engaged, enthusiastic employees.
It’s not always easy to keep employees focused and productive around the holiday period. For sectors such as retail, food and drink or distribution, Chinese New Year can be an especially busy time of the year. Many businesses may also be tied down with their fiscal year-end in March, leaving them with little time to close the gaps on sales and revenue targets. Cloud-based technology makes it easy for employees to work flexibly, with people able to log on and edit information from anywhere, even on the go. With most cloud services offering mobile apps, it’s simple to work from any device, so everyone can keep up to date, including sales staff, remote workers and those needing a bit more flexibility at this time of the year. Flexible working helps employees to enjoy a better work-life balance, without negatively impacting productivity – especially during this festive season.
If your business has peak times or different staffing demands, you can really benefit from the flexibility that the cloud offers. It’s easy to scale cloud services up or down, depending on need. This means you can temporarily increase capacity to handle busy periods like Chinese New Year – without having to shell out for hardware or software that wouldn’t be used during quieter seasons. Research shows that unleashing business builders from burdensome admin could unlock over USD 600 billion in lost productivity. This translates to a whopping 120 working days on average, for businesses across the world! Additionally, cloud-based software makes the latest updates immediately available to all users. Getting instant upgrades gives employees new features and functions sooner, making them more productive.
Improved data security
At busy times, the last thing a business needs is for technology to fail them. Downtime can lead to all kinds of problems, including reduced productivity, lost revenue and reputational issues. A reputable cloud provider will maintain reliable and secure services, giving you peace of mind that all data is secure, safe and recoverable, no matter what happens. It’s easily accessible from anywhere and any device. And if something does go wrong, a cloud host should resolve issues quickly, getting you back up and running in plenty of time for tossing Yu Sheng at a reunion dinner. Cloud can also solve the chaos of documents and data being stored in different formats and on personal drives and devices. This has the potential to cause mass confusion, security issues and plenty of stress. Storing data and documents in one place in the cloud means everyone will accessing the same, up-to-date, authorised information, leading to less human error and clear records of any updates.
These benefits can alleviate some of the stress that business builders face at peak times like Chinese New Year – and more importantly, also give businesses a lift. Your company will be more agile as capacity can be ramped up or down to meet demand, and you can take advantage of peaks in the market without significant costs. With streamlined processes and more engaged, productive employees able to connect and collaborate from around the world, you’ll gain a real competitive advantage.
By Robin Chao, Vice President of Sage Asia. He is passionate about helping businesses succeed by providing them with the information, insight and tools they need. At Sage, he works hard to drive the Digital Transformation across Asia, focusing on helping customers resolve their challenges and delivering value through innovative solutions.