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survey of IT professionals conducted earlier this year found that over 93 percent of respondents use some sort of cloud-based architecture. And with software giants like Microsoft moving towards service-based applications like Office 365, it is inevitable that some users will find themselves left behind because they haven’t made the shift.

The subscription model automatically offers the newest versions of every program and will therefore always be supported by Microsoft, thus preventing the pop-up error we all fear most: “Your version is no longer supported.” There are inherent risks to being an early adopter, such as bugs and even security vulnerabilities, but there are also risks to being a late adopter, too. Blockbuster went out of business because they didn’t foresee the rise of broadband, while Netflix thrived because they capitalized on streaming early in the game (and now have over 43 million subscribers in the U.S. alone). And the changes didn’t end there. Traditional retailers eventually expanded their online selections because of major online warehouse competitors like Amazon and Overstock.

How do these business examples relate to managed IT services and the cloud? Nowadays, many companies (sadly) believe that putting up an e-commerce website means they have successfully future-proofed their business. Some organizations do even less – they only create an informational page stating where they can be reached.

In both cases, whoever was in charge of IT for these companies did not successfully harness the potential productive power of having fully linked cloud architecture. For example, the retailer that decides to set up an e-commerce version of their store usually makes the terrible decision to split their business in two, with a separate warehouse operation that solely ships to mailboxes and another operation that ships directly to shelves. Sure, this might work, but can it work better? What if you utilized your in-store associates to help fulfill online orders when customer foot traffic is low? What if you had a single portal for viewing warehouse stock that provided the flexibility of moving product across both retail platforms, whether ship-to-store or ship-to-home?

These are just a few ways your IT infrastructure can be improved to support your business. But the changing dynamic goes beyond that. While managed IT has been around for a while now, consulting services ensure adaptability to new business realities as part of the package. Because cloud-based infrastructure will become the new norm, the relationship between your IT provider and your business will change.

Rather than the old business model – “the more problems you have, the more we can bill you” – the cloud is moving towards a better collaborative relationship – “the longer uptime you have, the better our business relationship becomes.”  

And because Access One is both a connectivity provider and a managed IT service, we are doubly invested in making sure your uptime becomes our uptime and all in one convenient place.