Cloud computing has a number of appealing benefits, which is why Intuit predicts that 80 percent of businesses will have adopted the tech by 2020. It has been shown to lower costs by decreasing power usage, IT requirements, rack space, and more. It also allows employees to collaborate more effectively and from anywhere, which is just the flexibility businesses need in today’s device driven workforce.
To stay ahead of the curve, you need to start thinking about how you can harness the benefits of the cloud. The following cloud solutions are some of the most popular for businesses. Employ one or more of these solutions and your business can start benefiting from increased mobility, flexibility, and savings.
Dropbox for Business
Arguably the most popular cloud solution, Dropbox is widely used by individuals and businesses looking for convenient (and free) storage. Dropbox for Business isn’t free, but it has more business features than the standard Dropbox download. It comes with a full terabyte of storage and a host of business features, such as advanced collaboration tools, user management, and unlimited file recovery.
One of the most challenging aspects of cloud computing is what to do if your data is lost. Cloud computing isn’t more dangerous to your data than hard drive storage; in fact, it may be safer if you consider it’s not vulnerable to disasters, such as a fire or hurricane. You’ll still want to back up any and all data you save, and if a hard drive does become damaged you can recover the lost or damaged files with hard drive recovery, which is a service designed to recover data from SSDs, external hard drives, and broken laptops or desktops.
Here’s more of what you can do with Dropbox:
- Share media with clients, partners, and customers
- Use it like a shared server
- Share travel documents
- Collect information
- Collaborate with remote employees
- Test new applicant’s skills
Intuit QuickBooks Online Plus
Cloud-based accounting has some serious benefits, and is widely touted as an intelligent financial move for growing small businesses. Your financial information can be accessed anywhere, but is kept secure on Intuit’s servers. There’s a number of convenient features, including hands-free data entry, synced transactions (PayPal, American Express, etc.), and there’s less paperwork to contend with. Everything is neatly organized in the app, and even your clients can use it to stay on top of their book.
VoIP: Cloud-Based Phone Solutions
Cloud-based phones are yet another example of how cloud tech can save you money. These systems only require that you pay for the services you’re actually using, and there’s less expense for hardware and software. Plus, “the vender takes responsibility for delivery, maintenance, and support of the system,” says Wired.com. Wired warns that there are drawbacks including connectivity dependency; if your Internet goes down, your phone system won’t work so it’s smart to have a backup in place.
OpenDrive for Storage and Management
OpenDrive combines your need for storage with your need for advanced management solutions. The business plan includes data storage, sync and backup features, data management, user management, and projects and workflow management. It supports Microsoft Office, so if you use PowerPoint, Word, or Excel to conduct business, there is synchronicity here which provides your business with greater efficiency, collaboration, and organization.
Most of the above-mentioned solutions offer some version of a free trial. Take advantage of these offers to ensure your business subscribes to the best cloud solution available. Not all are created equal and not all will be perfectly suited to your business. Do some research, test out the capabilities, and then subscribe to the solution that best suits your organization.