As many will tell you, cloud computing is a big deal. No longer are computers shackled to a server with a physical connection. Through an online connection, your computer can be connected to any server wherever it’s located. Cloud based software for small businesses offers a range of advantages. It is cost effective, provides better accessibility across devices and the opportunity for better collaboration between users. It also provides almost unlimited storage and greater opportunity to appropriately back your work up. We already provide plenty of ways to help you get setup on the cloud.
The cloud is gradually encompassing everything, which includes software which is now being sold as a service. Many familiar software packages are providing cloud based updates of their existing platforms. This transfers all their regular benefits and reputation with all the benefits of the cloud. This is usually for a reduced fee, normally a series of monthly costs, which can greatly reduce your capital expenditure.
We have provided a list of some of the better software packages, you may want to integrate into your cloud based computing infrastructure.
Integrated web platforms – Google Apps
Google apps provides a unified platform all linked back to your Google email account that can provide endless productivity. For example, Google Docs is quickly emerging as a popular alternative to Microsoft Office since it allows you to create text based documents and spreadsheets. Google Drive provides you with file storage for all your important documents and Google Hangouts allows video conferencing between gmail accounts.
File Storage – Dropbox
There are many cloud based storage solutions, Google Apps provides drive as a repository for all of your files, whilst iCloud provides similar services across Apple devices. Dropbox is free to use up to a point. An upgrade to Dropbox for Business is recommended, since it provides 1TB of storage, comprehensive administrative and security elements not to mention the ability to track and recover versions of files.
Brainstorming and Research – Evernote
Evernote is essentially billed as specialised note taking software. For businesses that deal and pitch with clients, that requires brainstorming and research, Evernote provides a decent opportunity to condense all of your resources. It allows you to gather and collect resources from all over the internet and makes them accessible from one place. Fully accessible by mobile, it allows for user collaboration and makes sharing material easy between staff, where ever they’re based. This makes it a great choice when looking for cloud based software for small businesses.
Project Management – Basecamp
Project management tools are useful for keeping your staff organised and work prioritised. There is a broad range of project management tools you could potentially use, including Trello and Asana. We recommend Basecamp, simply because it is easy to use. It provides you with the ability to assign to-do lists, share files and maintain dialogue with staff and clients.
Time Tracking – Toggl
It is always important to keep track over how much time you are spending on projects. Toggl is a cloud based app that allows you to track the amount of time you spend on projects and individual duties. This can make billing far easier, not to mention giving you a clearer overview of all your tasks.
Telecommunications – Skype
Does an office even need a conventional landline anymore? Skype is the well known platform that allows you to communicate with others through instant messaging, phone calls and video calls.
Email Marketing – Mailchimp
Email is still one of the most important ways of connecting with your customers and clients. With Mailchimp you can build email marketing campaigns, grow your address book and upload and create your own templates. Following send out, it allows you to monitor your campaign’s effectiveness. ToutApp provides a similar service, with the added ability to see who is viewing your emails in real time.
There are just a few examples of cloud based software for small businesses that reduce cost and streamline your processes.