While cloud technology has only been around for a few years, it is already revolutionising the way small businesses do business. But what is cloud technology and how can you benefit from it?
The easiest way to think of cloud technology is to think of file sharing applications like Dropbox and Google Drive. The files shared on them are hosted on a third-party hard drive, and business owners and their teams only need to upload files on the cloud server to become more efficient. This means that all the staff and teammates that have access to the cloud account can access and edit the documents wherever they are, as and when they need to. This is a big time-saver and helps to improve the overall efficiency of running the business.
The most significant benefits that cloud technology offers is time-saving and reduced data storage costs. People in business no longer need to spend money on extra hard drives and paraphernalia just to host shared files. If they use free services like Dropbox and Google Drive, the cost of cloud computing is zero. Of course, there are paid services out there for businesses that have industrial-strength demands. But even these services cost less than self-hosted servers.
Many of these cloud storage companies offer great security features. However, we urge you to always look into the level of security offered by Cloud storage companies before deciding to go ahead and use their service.
Aside from costs, there is the matter of work mobility. Cloud hosting means that the files can be accessed from anywhere, even smartphones. For people in the sales team, this means that they can spend more time doing sales calls rather than commuting to the office to make sales reports. As it is right now, there are cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) programs that allow sales teams to update their statistics right from their phones.
Using SaaS programs allows other departments to access information to generate reports quickly. This convenient integration is nowhere more obvious than the finance department making quarterly reports based on the revenue data provided by the sales team.
For organisations that are working on projects, cloud technology has enabled them to collaborate better. Gone are the days when files are hosted on one single computer. Now anyone can access the data needed to do their jobs.
For managers, cloud services allow them to easily manage teams by granting limited or unlimited file access to specific members.
According to the Cloud Industry Forum, the use of the Cloud has increased to 84% in the United Kingdom. That figure will only increase as the technology becomes better regarding security and features.
If you want to switch to the cloud, the first thing you need to do is decide how you are going to use it. If it’s just for better collaboration, free cloud computing services will suffice.
Depending on the size of your business and how much data you have to transfer, you may need to use the help of an IT support company in order to make sure that all your data is transferred safely and efficiently.