The cloud. Everyone hears about it and think they know what it is. After all, you see the commercials and read about it online. You probably use it in your personal life already. The cloud is where you keep your documents and photos to free up space on your phone or computer. In a way, you would be correct, but the cloud is much more complex than that. For small businesses, cloud computing allows them to fully utilize applications and platforms that keep their organization operating properly while taking away the responsibility of hosting them on servers.
Companies are given the flexibility to grow and redundancy to ensure that their applications, infrastructure, and data will be available to them in the event of a power outage or technical failure. It should be said that the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It comes down to the needs of the business. When you work with IT Support Guys, you will receive a free technology assessment to determine the solutions that best fit your business.
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Your team needs to be able to communicate and work together. How else would work ever get done if they couldn’t? The old ways of collaborating and keeping in touch with co-workers are over. No more needing to be in the office and talk face-to-face. The cloud brings your team together no matter where they are. This isn’t about being accessible from anywhere; it’s about being productive. The cloud is about making sure everything your team needs to finish projects, secure a client, or improve operations is available to them when they need it. To achieve this, you’ll need the right tools in the cloud. The industry your business is in will be a factor in what tools will work best, but it will mostly come down to what software you and your employees are comfortable using.
Anyone who has used a computer knows Microsoft. They are the largest software provider in the world, with a majority of business’ computers running on their operating systems. It’s not just operating systems that Microsoft does well. Microsoft Office 365 is the premier collection of productivity and communication tools for small businesses. And with good reason. Office 365 offers all the applications and tools your team is familiar with (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint) to make sure business operates smoothly. For ease of use, all applications are available as both desktop and web versions. Work will always be done.
Google, the largest search engine in the world, offers a great collection of tools for businesses as well. G Suite through Google Cloud allows your team to connect with each other, create projects for all your business needs, and access files instantly. Your team will be collaborating and doing great things without worrying about your networking being down to stop them.
While all applications and components are essential to a business running smoothly, the one you must have available no matter what is email. Employees can work around not having certain docs or programs, but if they can’t communicate with each other, your business comes to a standstill. This is where the cloud shows what it’s capable of doing with redundancy. To provide redundancy, your applications or infrastructure, in this case, your email system, are spread across multiple servers. So, if one server were to go out, another would jump in and take its place; leaving you with uninterrupted service. Your employees will be sending emails and communicating without even knowing what happened. Both Google and Microsoft provide excellent email services for small businesses.
When you ask anyone about the cloud, this is what they think of. The unlimited, invisible storage in the sky. Well, almost. Yes, the cloud holds all your important documents, files, data, and applications, but the more important part is that the cloud keeps them secure. Your team can share documents and files through email or chat without worrying about anything happening to them. What file sharing solution you use is dependent on your business needs.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s file sharing solution for businesses. You have the use of a desktop folder, browser, and mobile apps, so your files are accessible across all devices. And your files are secure if anything were to happen to one of your devices. Best of all OneDrive files are available offline, so you’re not limited by the need of an internet connection. For an added layer of security, you have the ability to set an expiration date for links to files you send through email or chat. This keeps your files safe if the link falls into the wrong hands. The ability to scan documents eliminates the need for a dedicated scanner that would require maintenance and replacement.
If you are using G Suite from Google for your office applications and communication, G Drive is the cloud file sharing solution for your business. G Drive provides unlimited storage, so the last thing you have to worry about is running out of space. If your employees have twenty different versions of a document, they’ll all fit. Collaboration and sharing are made easy with the Team Drives feature. Team Drives are shared spaces for different departments or project teams to keep up-to-date on all files and documents essential to their work. Don’t use the other applications offered by Google in G Suite? That’s fine. Plugins for Microsoft Office and Outlook it easy to fit G Drive into your daily workflow.
There are a lot of third-party cloud storage and file sharing apps on the marketing, but one we wanted to highlight here is Box. Box is an easy to use and secure solution that integrates with apps and programs you currently use in your business today. With Box, you’re able to build custom applications without having to build or maintain a content management service. Custom apps creates value for your company and differentiates you from your competition.
With the cloud, everything works better. IT Support Guys is the expert in cloud solutions. We’ll work with you to find the cloud solution that works best for your business. Our dedicated and experienced staff of IT specialists makes us the top choice for your small business for all your cloud computing needs.