Small businesses have their own particular needs when it comes to productivity. Even the smallest business in run by one person needs to have a communications policy that is productive and enables the company to show itself in best light. It’s difficult, not having the budget to do many things in house. However, this is where cloud software can help small businesses with big business advantages. Cloud software should be on the to-do list of every small business owner handling every C level that there is.
The Future Is Cloudy
The cloud is more than a buzzword. The cloud is the future of doing business, with Rightscale noting that a majority of workloads are now processed in the cloud. Software as a service is one of the biggest parts of the cloud, and you might know these as apps. For instance, your current office productivity suite may not be on your computer, though that is where you access it. Microsoft Office and Google Drive are both cloud-based, allowing users to access their software as a service, and store documents, photographs, and other content either on their computers or in the cloud. Other applications such as Dropbox live entirely in the cloud. Even accounting software is shifting to more secure and better maintained cloudware. Part of the reason for the change is simple – total cost of operation.
More than Just a Box
Software has always been one of the most expensive parts of running a business. Buying software off the shelf for more than one person traditionally required more than one license. Licenses were extended to cover three machines when the age of laptops and home computers merged with the use of computers at work. The primary benefit of cloudware is its scalability for growing workforces. Secondary benefits include the ability to work with other apps that bestow capabilities previously not written into the program, but by far the greatest benefit is that of maintenance. Updates occur automatically, maintaining security on your machine, while the company maintains the servers on which the cloudware resides. In other words, the software company handles your IT.
Get Your Communications Together
Implementing a communications policy consists of setting out how internal and external communications are conducted on a daily basis. This makes sure that everyone is on the same page as far as how staff communicates with each other, and how they communicate with clients and customers either actual or potential. This can mean working with a call center cloudware provider to streamline B2C communications, or using video conferencing to communicate internally for events as large as all-hands meetings and symposiums to face-to-face meetings between two or three key people. Video conferencing solutions from BlueJeans provide secure communications that are scalable and secure without needing an IT department.
From accounting, to inventory, records keeping, customer communications, and productivity, cloudware is evolving constantly, but without the “upgrade” costs associated with boxed software. Likewise, security in a time of rampant hacking and data breaches is on every company’s radar. Customer data and information is a premium objective of hackers, allowing crimes like identity theft and engendering other criminal behaviors using stolen data. By keeping data in the cloud and using highly secure passwords, the crooks have a harder not to crack. Just like burglars, hackers hate to be noticed, and the longer they hang around a server, the more likely it is that they will be discovered. They want to get in, get their loot, and get out again fast. By moving vital functions into professionally maintained servers, you are making your virtual operations burglar proof.
Apps for Everything
The internet is always evolving, and apps are taking over from box software, cross-platform and open source and pushing out proprietary architectures. Mobile means that your office is as close as a tap and swipe. These trends are changing the way people all over the world work and live, and will continue to do so. Even the cloud is evolving, entering a “2.0” phase where there’s a shakedown and change, especially as CIO magazine reports Enterprise-level apps are moving into the public cloud and “cloudwashing” providers get put out on the curb. Apps will evolve as well, and become more accessible, more intuitive, and easier for everyone to use and access.
Small Business’ Sunny Outlook
Without the outlay of capital previously required for hardware and boxed software, small business can redirect those resources into growth and investment. When a nimble and flexible small business can compete with the resources previously available only to larger concerns with IT departments on tap, small business can compete against – and win – against a larger but less flexible establishment. Apps and cloudware give the small business better tools. Use your cloud to make your business’ future sunny and bright!