Small businesses have been the most aggressive cloud adopters over the past few years. The scalability of cloud services attracts them to make it as one of the top investments for business operations.
Nonetheless, while it is still on its infancy, almost everyone who’s connected to the Internet benefit much from its features. According to CDW’s 2013 State of the Cloud Report, IT managers expect to spend 38% on budget on cloud computing by 2016.
Here are top 7 ways to maximize the technology:
Plan and Strategies
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Before partnering with a reliable cloud service provider, make sure you plan and strategies with the IT team and discuss what you should integrate in the cloud. You must consider the IT’s architecture, network needs, public accessibility, scaling needs and business model.
Pay-As-You-Go and Experiment
One of the notable features that cloud service provides is the pay-as-you-go model, allowing small business to avail basic services and then add resources when needed. It’s more cost efficient for startups to try new strategies and experimentation on the early stages of development.
BYOD and Collaboration
The cloud support app hosting where employees can access them using their own device (Bring-Your-Own-Device) makes it easier for them to collaborate with the other team on various projects. They can share files, sync, edit and leave notes, increasing the productivity and efficiency while working. However, the downside of this method is the risk of security involved when working on sensitive data.
If you don’t mind third-party cloud services providers to handle your data, you may choose the public cloud type such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive.
Hosted Email Servers
Access your email accounts whether on a desktop, laptop or mobile and unlock features that will centralize the communication of the employees. You can update and collaborate with other team with shared tasks, calendar, contacts and large folder space for files. Make sure you partner with a trusted cloud service provider that supports Microsoft Exchange to get the most of Outlook.
SharePoint for Productivity
Microsoft SharePoint allows the team in the enterprise to share information and being used as a content management system for Intranets. Employees can set up websites, share documents and work on projects, which are displayed entirely through an Internet browser. This saves more space in PCs since the cloud can host this platform without installing software to your device.
CRM Integration for Sales Effectiveness
Maximise customer management relationship applications to gain insights on the marketing performance and track conversion breakthroughs from the integrated data on demand.
Online Storage and Backup Solution
The cloud enables small businesses to store data with unlimited storage capacity. You may avail the public cloud if you don’t mind letting third-party company to store your files in their servers.
You may also avail a private cloud service if you wish to take control of your data and manage your own servers. You can maximize private cloud’s features such as VPN management, advanced block storage support and active directory integration.