LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
4 Cloud-Based Solutions That Can Help Improve Business Efficiency
HANNA VASINA, LUTZ TECH SERVICE DESK ENGINEER
Potential drains on business efficiency include: groups of remote workers unable to communicate well with one another, tools that make it hard to adapt to changes or new needs quickly, and the high cost of equipment and IT personnel. Cloud-based solutions address these areas and more. In fact, four options provide the opportunity for your business to become more efficient in very little time.
1. Cloud Storage
Examples of cloud storage include:
- Google Drive
- One Drive
But what exactly is cloud storage? Before computers, employees stored their documents, paperwork and other work via a physical filing system (imagine shelves and warehouses filled with drawers and boxes). Even the best-organized ones required some searching to find a file in question.
Things got much better after computers entered the picture. Now, employees can store their work on computer hard drives, thumb drives and the like. However, with the advent of a mobile, nimble workforce, restricting yourself to this type of storage is cumbersome and unnecessary.
That’s where cloud storage comes in. You’re able to keep lots of old files and current work in a remote database. So, you can start work on your laptop, continue it on your tablet and then finish on your phone.
The same is true if you’re working with someone across the globe. Cloud storage makes it possible for both of you to instantly access the same document and even work on it at the same time. As long as you have internet access, you can use cloud storage.
2. Cloud Email
O365 from Microsoft is one example of cloud email, but isn’t email already something you can access on different devices? Yes, it is. But if you’re a business, you likely have an email infrastructure that requires the purchase of hardware and software. You may also need to buy in-house servers.
On the other hand, switching to cloud-based email cuts down sharply on everything your business needs to buy for email. Plus, if you want tech support, it’s a simple phone call or live chat away.
3. Cloud Communication
Communications services such as Skype for Business and Slack are great ways to bring employees together. For example, you can host a Skype video meeting in which workers in three locations give their input on how a project is progressing.
For real-time messaging and collaboration, Skype or Slack can work well. They help cut down on email clutter, and employees near and far are able to chat with one another quickly.
Of course, your company may still want some in-person and phone meetings, but cloud communication can assist with overall efficiency by:
- Reducing the number of in-person meetings, further cutting travel costs.
- Streamlining hiring processes by making it easy to do first-round video interviews rather than flying in a large number of candidates.
- Cutting telephone costs (mobile and roaming, for example).
- Enabling employees to telecommute and work their preferred hours more.
You can also record and save meetings, which makes note-taking unnecessary and helps others who did not attend catch up on the meeting’s results.
4. Cloud-Based Business Apps
If you have a favorite software program you don’t want to give up, chances are you don’t have to. Many programs have cloud-based versions of full software. For example, Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 have cloud-based word processing, spreadsheet and presentation possibilities. There are cloud-based apps in virtually any field you can think of, including accounting, design, storage, communication, productivity, data analytics, backup and recovery.
Cloud-based applications make businesses more efficient by streamlining processes, improving collaborations and cutting costs. If your company doesn’t use them already, now is the right time to explore options that match your needs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HANNA VASINA + SERVICE DESK ENGINEER
Hanna Vasina is a Service Desk Engineer at Lutz Tech with over 5 years of IT experience. She provides onsite assistance to outsourced IT clients by troubleshooting computer and server discrepancies and responding to any technical inquiries.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Information Technology (IT)
- Remote Support
- BS in Mass Communications, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
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