Maybe you’ve heard of cloud services, but as a small business, you’re wary of switching to such a new technology. We get that, and we get your reservations, but what if we told you that the cloud was the number one way to reduce the overall operation costs of your business? Well, it’s true. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are five essential cloud services that bump your business’ productivity, and save you money at the same time:
Mobile File Storage
One of the biggest benefits cloud services offer to small businesses is the capacity for secure mobile file storage. When files are stored in the cloud, you and your employees can access them anywhere, at work, at home, and even on the go. The other bonus here is that no one has to worry about forgetting to save their work to a flash drive, to their work computer, or even save the files at all. Most cloud file storage software automatically saves any documents or files you’ve been working on, so you don’t have to worry about lost time and effort.
Another opportunity that the cloud provides when it comes to files is the ability to easily collaborate. You can have an entire team working on the same document, at the same time, from vastly different locations. The ability to simultaneously collaborate boosts your employee’s productivity immensely, as it takes away the hassle of emailing files, exchanging flash drives, and allows them to immediately access any file from wherever they are.
The risk of losing files while migrating servers or updating software is eliminated with the cloud. Online backup tools will automatically duplicate your files, for a price that’s often much more affordable than your standard backup methods. Many programs will even allow you to set up automatic, regular backups that occur continuously until you say so.
Online backup programs are also a really good option for businesses looking to go paperless. Files that previously needed to be printed to ensure a physical backup copy was available, can just be saved on the cloud. Additionally, since the cloud offers those handy collaboration services we talked about earlier, employees no longer have to share paper copies of documents to edit, collaborate, or make changes.
Accounting and Time Tracking
Another major benefit of the cloud is the user-friendly accountancy software that becomes available. Payroll and other aspects of financial admin are tedious, complicated, and overall just a hassle, especially for small business owners who don’t have a lot of time on their hands anyway. Online providers like Sage and Xero offer accountancy programs targeted specifically to small businesses, which means they’re created for the owner who isn’t necessarily an accountant. You’ll be able to process payroll, check tax and expenses, send invoices, and any other necessary financial activity, without the hassle of a full-blown, complicated program meant for a large corporation.
We’ve said it before, but the cloud really is great at saving you money. Almost all cloud services come at a price that is affordable for small businesses. While the provider you choose will still affect how much you pay, it’s generally true that any service you receive from the cloud will be exponentially cheaper than the traditional version. You should still shop around and make sure you look at both monthly fees and initial costs when you’re making your decision – but If you’re looking to lower the overall operation costs of your small business, then there’s no better route for you than the cloud.
If you’re thinking that cloud services might be right for your small business, or if you have any more questions on what the cloud has to offer, make sure to give Red Five IT a call! As West Michigan’s trusted IT service provider, we provide cloud consulting services to all of our clients. Give our office a call at 1-877-890-RED5 (7335), or contact us online today!