How Cloud Computing Can Help Small & Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing has become a hot buzzword over the last few years. With every type of business aspect being performed ‘in the cloud’ lots of different size companies can benefit from using cloud-based services. Enterprise businesses have greatly benefited from cloud computing with storage, email, web applications, and document management, just to name a few. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of productivity, organization, and most of all, cost savings. We are here to tell you that as a business owner, there is no need to break the bank when it comes to cloud based solutions. Follow us on this journey as we provide the benefits of cloud computing and how these systems can be implemented today.

Cloud Email

Gone are the days of a physical server box stranded onsite, inside a server room or closet. With cloud based email, businesses do not have the expense of constantly patching the server’s operating system on a monthly basis, worried about the hard drive on the server crashing, and who will perform maintenance on the email server. The benefits of having an email in the cloud is great for any size business. For starters, all services are patched by the vendor, and these providers consist of Microsoft and Google. The providers themselves are the ones patching, updating, and constantly upgrading the software and hardware for the users. Another benefit is cloud based email can be accessed from anywhere on any device with an internet connection. Whether you have a laptop or smartphone, both devices will be in sync. The pros, and cons, of cloud based email can be a blog post all on it’s on, but for this post, we’d like to focus on the higher level benefits for customers.

Cloud Storage

Document management can be quite tedious inside a growing organization. As a business begins to grow, more standardized practices become implemented for better collaboration and organization. Cloud storage provides a substantial benefit that small and medium size businesses need to take advantage of. Dropbox is a great, cloud-based tool that can be accessed from nearly any device and from anywhere with an internet connection. Teams can work on documents in just about real time and upload different versions of the documents into the same folder. The tool has been used by many of our customers and have created work flows that suit the company’s needs. Not only is this tool a great application for collaboration, but another benefit of using Dropbox is the low costs associated with the app. You can sign up and get 2GB for free. That is a lot of free space for documents at no charge. Cloud storage is a resource any size business should be implementing in their business today.

Cloud Applications

The days of installing software onto individual machines is on a downward trend. Just look at new laptops that are coming out, no more optical drives are being included into the machine. With companies like Google, Microsoft, and Adobe, all applications are moving to the cloud where individuals can use the program on a web browser. Let’s take Google as an example. Google has a superior cloud based solution for organizations called Google Apps for Business. The product is a cloud based ecosystem of email, calendar, and programs, just to name to few. Organizations who use Google Apps for Business have the ability to utilize programs very similar to Microsoft’s Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. A benefit of using programs in the cloud allows for real time collaboration in that two or more individuals can be in the same document, making modifications simultaneously. In addition, all of the documents a user creates are stored in Google’s Drive storage. Cloud type applications have been around for quite some time, but the real business friendly apps are just starting to become mainstream.

So much more information can be expressed on the topic about cloud computing. This is an extremely simplified list of tools any size business can begin to use today. Cloud email is here to stay and organizations can benefit by lowering email costs. Cloud storage is important for numerous reasons, but the example we touched on is taking advantage of a service that can be a hub for document management and the ability to access these documents from anywhere with an Internet connection. Lastly, applications in the cloud are an excellent resource when working with a team on a specific project when team members are remote or traveling.

What are your thoughts about cloud services? Does your organization utilized cloud apps? We’d love to hear from you. Follow ZumaTech on Twitter and Facebook to engage with us and to receive updates of current news and trends.

Andrew Lopez
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