The U.S. economy has been adding jobs at a steady pace since 2010, and the current unemployment rate stands at 5.3 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008. With the great recession seemingly in the rear view mirror, many of us thought we had turned an economic corner. With unemployment leveling off and inflation seemingly in check, some have even speculated that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) might raise interest rates during its next meeting in September. In fact, according to a recent Reuters (News - Alert) poll of economists, interest rates are expected to be raised twice throughout the year, and that change could be seen as early as this month. The Fed is targeting a range of zero to 0.25 percent and has not raised interest rates since 2006. However, recent unrest in the global stock markets is proving that the only certainty is that nothing is certain.
Taking all of these economic factors into consideration, you need a plan to prepare your business to grow regardless of what the economic storyline of the day might be. In order to mitigate risk - whether that uncertainty comes from turmoil in the marketplace, or from a slowdown in demand - preparing your business for any scenario should be at the forefront of your mind. How can you prepare for such an uncertain future?
An excellent use of an investment in the future of your company is in the cloud. Operating on a cloud-based business management solution will allow you to remain lean during down times while improving business efficiencies and accelerating growth. The right cloud-based business management solution will bring together the most pertinent data from all areas of your operations, providing insights to help you make informed business decisions. It will also have an easy to use interface so that anyone in your company can easily adopt and use. It can be accessed on any device and is flexible enough to adapt to your unique business workflows and processes.
Overall, one of the most positive outcomes of a business management solution that operates on the cloud is that it helps position your business for growth during a good economy while also keeping your business lean. This enables growth without significantly increasing overhead. In fact, in a recent survey, 81 percent of respondents sited using the cloud to drive business growth as their number one reason for choosing it.
Moreover, a cloud-based business management solution will put you in the position to take advantage of real-time business intelligence. Seventy-four percent of respondents expect to improve business agility by using the cloud, so having accurate business intelligence at your fingertips will enable you to make decisions based on the most up to date economic indicators for your business. This means that no matter what is going on in the economy, you know where you stand at any moment.
With average wages set to rise despite the seemingly ever-present uncertainty in the economy you have to ask yourself, why hire when you can use the cloud to grow?
Jean Huy is a global VP of product marketing for Sage North America. Jean leads global marketing strategy and go-to-market activities for Sage X3. Prior to his current position, Jean was the senior director of product marketing, heading up marketing strategy and go-to-market activities for Sage business solutions in the Mid-Market, including ERP and CRM products, cloud services and complementary solutions in the Sage portfolio or ecosystem. Jean managed the launch, go-to-market activities, market analysis and product strategy for Sage ERP X3 in the North American market while developing innovative marketing programs and sales tools to support double digit revenue growth. Huy earned an MBA in marketing communications from the Reims Management School in Reims, France.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi