One of the more recent developments in the IT field has been the increasing availability of cloud-based applications and software – from data backup solutions to collaboration software and more. The advantages of cloud computing are numerous, from the ability to access data from anywhere to improved collaboration on projects. If you’re not sure what cloud computing is or what the benefits are, read on!
What Is “Cloud” Based Computing?
The “cloud” is synonymous with the internet. As internet speeds have grown faster and cheaper over the years the ability to use software hosted on off-site computers has become a possibility. The cloud is a term for the off-site storage of data and software that isn’t chained to a specific computer—rather, it can be accessed from anywhere as well as from multiple devices.
Improved Productivity Using Cloud-Based Apps
Many small businesses are taking advantage of cloud-based software as it can allow them to access services that were previously too expensive to purchase all at once, and too costly and complicated to upgrade on a consistent basis to keep up with all the new enhancements and improvements. Now, more robust software can be used in incremental amounts or purchased via a subscription. Since the software is offered via the cloud (internet), users are always able to access the latest version of the software.
Collaboration has been greatly improved thanks to cloud-based apps such as Slack, Trello, and Asana, three tools that help groups and companies work together and manage large projects. These apps allow people to communicate quickly and stay organized, share files, and manage to-do lists. Cloud-based CRM tools such as SalesForce have given businesses a much easier way to manage clients as well as keep track of ongoing projects.
How Can Cloud Applications Help Give My Business An Advantage?
One of the more recent examples that many businesses are using is Office 365, a cloud-based host of productivity applications that can be accessed anytime and from most any location. This gives your business much more flexibility, as well as the ability to access software that might have been previously too expensive to purchase all at once.
For example, Office 365 allows you to access Microsoft applications such as Word from any device. You can review a document you’re working on from your phone in a restaurant or an airport terminal. The cloud aspect means that you aren’t tethered to a workstation; your apps and files are available anytime, anywhere. Not only that, but storing files in the cloud gives your employees and co-workers the ability to access and collaborate on them with you.
Another example is Adobe Creative Cloud (CC), a subscription-based service that allows users to access a suite of Adobe products and get all the updates as soon as they become available. The software products are also available to Adobe CC users from any device. In years past, purchasing Adobe software products was a huge up-front investment, and paying for the upgrades was also a large cost. Not only that, but the software was only available on the computer you had installed it on.
The Adobe Cloud has now allowed businesses the ability to affordably access the latest Adobe software from their iPhones, tablets, and desktop workstations. Adobe’s cloud-based offering has greatly enhanced the overall collaboration and productivity abilities for many creative-based businesses.
How Do I Integrate Cloud Based Services?
Although cloud-based software is easy to use once it’s up and running, it can sometimes be a challenge to properly set up and integrate, especially for a business that has 15+ employees and many computers and workstations. You’ll want to ensure that it’s done right, with the proper security protocol in place. You’ll also want to be able to get help when you need it should something go wrong. This is where a good IT support company comes in. Having a managed IT services partner in place will alleviate the burden of not only choosing and setting up the cloud systems that most benefit your business, but also help you out if something goes wrong or a disaster strikes.
AMA Networks is one of the most competent IT support companies in San Diego helping businesses such as yours not only pick out the best cloud-based solutions, but integrate and manage them as well. If you are interested in making the switch to cloud based apps and software, give us a call today!