You may be surprised to learn that you’re probably already using the cloud in some form within your business without actively seeking too...
If you’re using online email communication, social media, email marketing or online file storage, Hannah Durham of Superfast Business Wales says, you’re already in the cloud!
The cloud is vast and can be intimidating to try and get your head around. However, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. The cloud (and all its different iterations) can support businesses of any size and can offer real benefits without a huge upheaval of your business’ processes.
Here’s a few simple ways you can use the cloud to save your business money, improve online security and boost employee productivity.
Back up your data
Before you make any changes to existing businesses processes, it’s worthwhile thinking about how the cloud can help protect what you are already doing. Using the cloud to back up your data can help you to keep disruption to a minimum if your systems fail or there’s a flood in the office, for example. Backing up to the cloud provides the peace of mind that you have a secure, manageable way to keep your business running, even if disaster strikes.
Work wherever you are
You don’t need a fancy office space or individual, dedicated work set up to keep your business running effectively. Using online storage such as Dropbox or Google Cloud Storage means that all your files and documents are stored in the cloud, rather than locally on a specific computer.
The cloud allows you to work when inspiration strikes or when you require a flexible approach to the standard office-based, 9 to 5. Whether that’s on the go whilst travelling to a meeting, needing files for a last minute meeting with a client or when staff need to work from home, the cloud has you covered. It’s easy to access and all staff can be working on the same page with automatic syncing.
Flexible growth plans
Although planning for the future is important, it can be difficult to gauge exactly how quickly your growth will happen. Trying to estimate the scale of growth and balance your own aspirations with your capabilities in terms of time, space and resources can be stressful. The cloud can help reduce this stress by giving you access to tools and platforms with scalable options (to grow or contract as your needs change) and with no upfront investment.
Simplify project management
If you struggle to keep on top of multiple projects, the progress of different tasks or the status of different employee’s schedules, cloud-based project management platforms provide a great way to keep all this information in one easy-to-manage place. Platforms such as Basecamp are a great way to improve staff collaboration, keep an overview of tasks and help you hit your deadlines.
Integrate your platforms
The world is moving increasingly to the cloud, so now is a great time to get to grips and normalise using the cloud within your business. You may be surprised to learn about the different tools and systems that could be integrated to save you time in joining up different processes. Sensory resource business, LilBits, found they could save “hours and hours” of work by connecting their MailChimp, Shopify and CRM system together through the cloud. Consider how much time you could save by integrating some of your systems!