The cloud is a centralized data storage location that’s accessible from any device connected to the Internet. Cloud storage eases the burden on local systems and gives small businesses the ability to leverage many features that would otherwise be reserved for larger establishments. Affordable and flexible, the cloud is changing the way small businesses operate.
The Rise of the Telecommuter
The cloud keeps everyone connected regardless of their physical location. It’s an overarching storage medium that you can access as easily from home or a hotel room as from the office. The convenience and versatility of cloud computing may account for some of the recent rises in telecommuting. Global Workplace Analytics found that half of the U.S. workforce has a job that’s compatible with partial telework, and up to a quarter teleworks with some frequency. Employees at Fortune 1000 companies are only at their desks 40 to 50 percent of the time.
The cloud keeps employees connected regardless of their physical location, so they can collaborate in real time on documents and spreadsheets using cloud-based services like Google Drive. Cumbersome email attachments are a thing of the past with shared folders and other cloud conveniences.
An App for Everything
Cloud-based apps are making an impact on the small business sector. These convenient applications have an impressive amount of versatility. Most cloud storage solutions offer companion apps that make it easy to access documents remotely from a smartphone or tablet. More advanced options allow you to collect analytical data or customer feedback on the go and store it in the cloud. Sales teams can share and store leads, map their territories, evaluate demographics, and more with cloud-based apps fueling their activities.
Keeping an eye on the bottom line is essential for any small business owner. However, managing finances don’t have to be a cumbersome office-based job. With cloud-based accounting, you can take your financial data with you, which is particularly useful for the new entrepreneur bouncing between a home office, new retail location, investors’ meetings, and recruiting on the road.
Accounting online with Sage One or a similar service keeps your data both safe and accessible. You can pull up all your financial accounts in one place and evaluate your situation with a quick look at a single comprehensive dashboard.
Cloud communication services such as hosted PBX, CaaS, and voice over IP (VoIP) give small businesses affordable access to all the features and functionality of a large company. You can command a remote call center or streamline call routing with a smart automated assistant. Cloud communication services aren’t confined to a single building, so they can go everywhere you do, routing incoming calls to your cell phone or home office so customers can always reach you as though you’re glued to the desk — even when you’re not.
Massive Data Storage Capacity
The cloud offers a massive data storage capacity, all handled remotely so you don’t have to worry about slowing down your own personal systems or cluttering computers on-site. When you’re using the cloud for data storage, you have the flexibility to store far more than you could feasibly keep on your local system. This allows you to collect and mine larger databases for valuable marketing information. Keep images, video, and audio with fewer worries about storage space and whether the files will slow down your system.
You can also use the cloud for backup. Set your computers to backup automatically to the cloud so you’re never at risk of losing important data. Cloud systems protect your data at a remote location so you’re safe from natural disasters and local system failures. You have all the services and protection of a professional IT team at your disposal, yet you’re not responsible for the cost of maintaining your own IT staff, which would put a major strain on many small businesses. The cloud gives small businesses access to powerful professional services that can streamline nearly every type of activity. These scalable solutions facilitate seamless growth so you can expand comfortably by keeping your information and apps securely based in the cloud.