‘The cloud’ is the brave new frontier of digital data access. It allows you (or your business) to store files, information and data on the internet. It frees up your hard drive space, as you no longer need to keep thousands of GBs of information. You simply put it online. It also makes access easier. You can get into your cloud services from any device, anywhere in the world. If you don’t have access to your laptop abroad or on a trip, no problem. Here are some of the best cloud services your business should be using right now.
- Google docs – Google docs is one of the simplest forms of cloud technology. It allows users to write word documents, create Excel-style spreadsheets and produce slideshow presentations. You create each within your internet browser and save them online.
With a simple access link, you can give other people access from anywhere in the world. They can make edits, suggestions, and comments on everything. It’s an amazing way to collaborate or send documents without filling up hard drive and email space.
- DropBox – DropBox has quickly become the world’s favourite file-transfer and backup solution. If you run a huge company with lots of data, it might not be suitable (we’ll come to a better solution later). However, for small businesses and personal use, DropBox is the perfect tech service for backing up documents. It’s also a great way to transfer large files like video or audio when email can’t handle the size!
- iCalendar – The most productive offices have shared access to a communal calendar. It’s an easy way to let everyone know what deadlines, events, and meetings are coming up. In the past, this might be a physical calendar or a dodgy whiteboard drawing in the office!
Now, you can use iCalendar to sync those crucial events into every employees’ phone and computer. They can flick between their personal calendars and the communal one with ease.
- Accounting – We know that plenty of small business owners struggle with the financial aspect of running a business. It often pays to outsource your accounts to a professional firm instead. They’ll organise your day-to-day books, and process your accounts for the appropriate tax return. However, you no longer need a traditional accountant. Instead, you can use accounting software for small business. You upload your spreadsheets to the cloud, where a professional accountant will organise and keep your records. It’s money management for the modern age.
- Data centres – We talked briefly about backing up data with DropBox. However, for some companies, DropBox simply doesn’t provide enough space. For companies handling enormous amounts of customer data, information, and documents, there are entire data centres available. These are giant, secure systems that keep your sensitive information in a safe location. For businesses that handle confidential and private data, this is the only viable solution.
Using the cloud will make your business more productive and more efficient. Which of these services could you implement? And are you using any brilliant cloud services we’ve missed?