Frankencloud: The Monster That's Killing Business Has your company gotten too "cloudy" in its applications numbers? You actually need just one platform.

By Jeremy Roche

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

WikiCommons | Enhanced by Entrepreneur

In today's Age of the Customer, businesses need to be agile, to keep pace and grow at scale. That's why so many have turned to the cloud. Unfortunately, the world has gotten a little too cloudy, I must say, given the many different applications available for each individual business need.

Related: 3 Reasons HR in the Cloud Just Makes Sense

This is causing complications not unlike those we experienced in the days of on-premises software. The problem is that cloud implementations are often left in the hands of department leads without the development, first, of a comprehensive cloud strategy across the entire business.

When this happens, organizations end up with a cluster of different applications that don't actually work together. And the end result is a monster that I call "FrankenCloud."

This disjointed cloud strategy can deeply impact employee productivity, an executive's ability to make strategic business decisions, the customer experience and, ultimately, your company's bottom line. Scared yet? You should be! Three issues, described below, can result when you build your business on a FrankenCloud.

They are the reasons why a one-platform approach is the key to business success and long-term growth with the cloud.

1. Employees are less productive.

Not surprisingly, employee productivity hinges largely on technology. When companies use disparate cloud applications internally, employees are forced to wrestle with multiple logins, different user interfaces and varied reporting tools, all of which slow business down instead of speeding it up.

Information isn't easily accessible across teams, so team members end up having to spend extra time gathering the data they need to do their jobs; and given how quickly things can change in business today, this leaves the door wide open for error. Fortunately, companies can avoid this problem by selecting applications built on one cloud platform. This one-cloud platform will then be capable of supporting the entire business, from sales to finance to HR, with a consistent user interface, database and set of reporting tools, and accessibility across any device.

This strategy also enables employees to be more focused and efficient.

2. Executives forfeit visibility into the organization

In the world of FrankenCloud there are cloud silos that prevent executives from getting a comprehensive view of performance across their entire organization, thus encumbering their ability to make strategic business decisions.

Business leaders need full front-to-back office visibility at all times in order to drive substantial growth. The only way to achieve such visibility is by ensuring that all applications within the organization can communicate with one another and provide updates in real-time -- again, possible only with one platform.

Related: 10 Big Misconceptions About Cloud Computing

By breaking down these cloud silos (or hopefully, preventing them altogether!), executives will be able to review important business information in real time, including key performance indicators that cut across departmental boundaries and applications, like service calls, sales, revenue and expenses.

3. Business falls short of customer expectations.

Customers today are more connected and informed than in years past. They also have a very powerful voice, thanks to social media, that they can quickly amplify in the face of customer service disputes, making significant even the most trivial of complications. Because of this, every customer interaction counts.

Companies need to ensure that their employees have a holistic view of the customer, including every interaction from an inquiry or a sale, to a service delivery, request for support or billing dispute. When departments share information with other applications and work around the same view of the customer, employees will become better aligned at every touch point along the customer journey, keeping customers happy. With one platform serving as the technology backbone, companies can raise the bar for customer service and improve ROI.

Without a doubt, the cloud yields tremendous benefits, but it is the platform that will serve as the foundation for success. For any entrepreneur, whether you're building a company from the ground up or looking for new ways to improve your current business, developing a strong cloud strategy should be at the top of your to-do list. It sets the tone for how the entire organization will work together to achieve long-term growth.

Customers today may be smarter, faster and stronger than they were in the past. As an entrepreneur without FrankenCloud around to hold you back, you will be, too.

Related: 'Venom' Vulnerability: Serious Computer Bug Shatters Cloud Security

Jeremy Roche

President and CEO, FinancialForce.com

Jeremy Roche is president and CEO of FinancialForce.com, a cloud ERP provider on the Salesforce1 Platform. Roche was the driving force behind the creation of FinancialForce.com in 2009, with investment from UNIT4 and Salesforce.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

I Tested the 'Invest As You Shop' App to See If It Really Makes Investing Less Intimidating

Grifin is an app that tailors a user's investments to their spending habits. Now, the app is getting even more personal.

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.

Business News

'This Can't Be True': Google Responds to Viral Hoax Claiming the Company Is Shutting Down Gmail

The fake news release started making its way around X on Thursday.

Business News

Vice Will No Longer Publish Content on Its Website, Lays Off Hundreds of Staffers

Vice Media CEO Bruce Dixon announced the news in an internal memo to employees on Thursday.

Diversity

As a Black Woman CEO, I Built a Remote Company Not Just to Save Money — But to Mirror My Commitment to Diversity. Here's How.

To fuel innovation and global success, you absolutely need diverse perspectives — and having team members all across the world with varying thought processes, life experiences and viewpoints is the key.

Business News

Report: The Majority of Recent College Grads End Up in Jobs That Don't Need Bachelor's Degrees

Two research companies looked at a dataset of 60 million Americans.