In the past, working in the Cloud was only feasible for big corporations because you needed to invest in lots of infrastructure and have huge servers to support the chunks of data that needed to be stored. However, with the advances in technology, and the additional of numerous software as a service providers, the Cloud is no longer just for enterprise corporations. Any small business can now take advantage of working in the Cloud and enjoy its host of benefits. In fact, working in the Cloud can be one of the best moves your small business makes to improve your team’s productivity. Here are three advantages of working in the Cloud.
One of the big advantages of working in the Cloud is the time that it saves you and your team. A file storage software such as Dropbox is a great example of this. In Dropbox, files can be accessed from any location in the world, at any time, and on any device. Rather than having your files stuck on one computer’s hard drive and sharing them via email attachments, everything is already available in the Cloud. Teamwork is enhanced when everything is in the Cloud. When you use a Cloud application for storing and sharing files, each member of your team can easily access the files needed to complete their tasks. You’ll also find features that allow you to designate access levels so that certain team members have read-only privileges and others are authorized to make changes in documents. This means you don’t have to wait for a team member to get your request and send you the information you need to complete your work. This is especially helpful if you have team members in various time zones. If it’s outside typical working hours for one person, other members of the team do not have to wait on them before working on tasks. They can pick up where the other team member left off when they’re ready to work.
The fact that files can be accessed on multiple devices also works to your advantage. If you need to access a file urgently and you did not bring your laptop out, you can simply pull it up on your phone. Because your files can be accessed wherever you are without the need for calling or emailing someone to send them to you, you can continue working while travelling or at a conference. What may previously have been downtime can be used productively so you’re not in a rush to finish projects once you’re back at the office.
Another advantage of Cloud applications is the ability to track file history. For example, Google Drive offers document management that is accessible from your desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, and tablet. It allow any team member with authorized access to view the most updated version and see revision history. These features prevent costly errors and redundant changes. It is also useful when you need to rollback to a previous version of any document.
There is also less fear of losing data as you are not dependent on one source of data storage. When everything is stored in the cloud, even if your computer or hard disk fails, there is always a backup in the Cloud. You’ll never have to worry about losing your files again.
Evernote is another popular Cloud application for businesses. The premium version is designed specifically for business needs and can convert your notes into presentations quickly and easily. Additionally, it allows you to annotate PDF’s, a handy feature that helps to ensure everyone is on the same page. With these features, you can efficiently relay your ideas to your team.
The ease of accessing documents from any device, as you can with Evernote and the other apps mentioned here, provides definite advantages to your small business. For one thing, it allows you to bring on independent contractors to join your team, even if they will be working remotely. That can equal big savings for your business. Even regular employees will have more options for accessing work from home and working remotely. And, when you’re ready to grow, working in the Cloud offers the option to work easily with a satellite office.
If you’re worried about security in the Cloud, you shouldn’t be. The most popular Cloud servers are just as secure, and often more secure, than having on-site servers. Evernote, for instance, offers a passcode lock for its mobile apps. Most of the applications have encryption features to keep your confidential information safe.
I believe that working in the Cloud helps your business become more efficient and it saves costs at the same time. This allows you to allocate your valuable time and resources to other areas of the business. So if you have yet to start making use of the Cloud, do try it out soon.