Managing your business in the cloud shouldn’t be hard if you have already embraced the cloud. Most small businesses have invested in cloud tools but they are still not using the right tools and apps that can make it easy for their employees to work from anywhere and at anytime.
When you are just getting started as a business, you can still find and use cloud apps. Depending on your business size and what you’re doing, mixing both on-premise and cloud solutions can be better for you.
There are now cloud apps for most business processes. The functionality ranges from project management and marketing to general and popular business-productivity apps, such as word and spreadsheets. But with the proliferation of cloud apps, it’s difficult to know which ones are a good fit for your small business.
Ready or not, your business inevitably will be impacted by the cloud, and understanding your options is half the cloud battle won. These are a few ideas, tips, and cloud resources that could help you make the most of cloud computing.
Why the cloud matters and what your business could be missing out
Secured and better cloud applications can free your business from costly, time consuming maintenance and administrative duties. You can concentrate on your core business and run a profitable business if basic back end operations are handled by a secured third-party company.
Cloud apps give employees access to business information from anywhere around the globe. You can still be in business if you are not at the office. Don’t limit your operation to just a physical space. There are way too many options and benefits you should be exploring for your business. Collaboration makes work more productive and faster from anywhere.
There is no longer the need for complex disaster recovery plans. It doesn’t get any better than that. There should be no more cause for alarm when you lose your business data. Some companies have made it their business to take care of your business and they do it faster.
Cloud apps expose the beauty of document control. Your employees don’t have to be sending files back and forth over email. You should be keeping all the files in one central location where everyone can work off of one central copy. Save time and resources and concentrate on your core business.
Start with secured cloud apps you can trust
Most of your personal files are already managed in the cloud by companies you have entrusted with your data. You maintain your friendships via apps in the cloud. Mobile phones and tablets run robust apps via the cloud. If you are comfortable using personal and productivity apps, you can also choose a few companies you can trust and work with as a business.
To make things easier for you, start with technology giants who have invested millions to make their cloud services secured for other businesses. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and others are using the cloud concept to give smaller companies a competitive advantage with affordable access to leading cloud apps and services that might otherwise be unobtainable.
On selecting the right cloud apps
Embracing the cloud can help with issues like communication, compliance, and security. You should focus on selecting apps that will not be a burden on your business. Too many cloud apps could be hampering productivity.
Since businesses tend to create lots of documents, spreadsheets and presentations, you probably use office productivity apps a lot. If you probably use Microsoft Office regularly, you will like the Microsoft Office online version.
You still have access to the same tools and features but this time you can don’t have to be stuck to a single laptop or computer to access your files. Your colleagues can be working on the same documents from different locations.
Google Docs (Google’s suite of online office applications) is another great alternative. You can choose to edit the documents locally in Office or online in Google Docs. It has pretty much the same options in Microsoft Office.
If you’re not especially concerned about creating or editing files online, you may prefer to use a file-syncing application such as Dropbox, Google Drive or SugarSync to sync your documents to the cloud.
For customer relationship management to keep track of your entire customer base in one place, online, you could try Salesforce, SugarCRM or ContactMe.