A cloud is a remarkable tool, but it is one that a lot of businesses still have not adopted for a variety of reasons. They are worried about security. They are concerned about placing their data in the hands of a third party, or they do not have the resources to host their own in-house infrastructure. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there that enable businesses to use the cloud without the responsibilities of hosting it on-site or maintaining it.
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Why the Cloud?
Why should you invest in the cloud, and what can expect to achieve through its use? The sheer flexibility and scalability it can provide your organization is enough reason to consider the cloud as a viable option. Instead of purchasing solutions for every desktop in your office, you can set up an account for the solution and have your employees access it through the cloud via an internet connection. This kind of approach is great for businesses that want a more predictable budget, as these payments lend themselves well to this month-by-month and per-user arrangement.
Cloud-based tools are particularly useful because they free your employees from their desks. If they have an internet connection, they can access cloud-based services on any compatible device. This means that remote employees will have access to the same tools as an in-house employee, further breaking down barriers to productivity.
Cloud-Based Tools for Collaboration
When a business uses a cloud solution, it’s typically stored in an online environment and accessed through a web browser or an application via an internet connection. Depending on the business’s needs, they may be able to move entirely to the cloud. Here are just a few examples of how some organizations use the cloud for communication and productivity.
Microsoft Office 365
If your organization prefers Microsoft products, then you will be happy to hear that an entirely online version of Microsoft Office can be accessed on a subscription basis.
This helps you avoid the annoyances of installing Office on each individual device it’s needed on, as well as ensuring any older versions of Office are compatible and if not, replacing those. Do not forget you will also have to acquire software licenses for each of them. The cost of workforce, money, and time can quickly grow beyond the scope.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Sure, backing up your data on-site is nice, but with our BDR solution, we also back your company’s data up to the cloud. This provides the crucial redundancy that you will need if something happens to your in-house infrastructure, and you need access to your data fast.
VoIP Phone Systems
With the right features and investment, you can turn your traditional telephone system into a collaboration solution that enables your employees to communicate in real-time through a variety of methods. You will find that VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is a customizable and flexible solution that can empower your employees to communicate in a more efficient way.
Best Practices for Cloud-Based Collaboration
The best way to use your cloud-based solution for collaboration is to make sure it works for your organization’s specific needs. Here are some best practices to consider.
It is easy to think that you can make business easier by just sharing an entire drive or folder with your team, but you should think again about this. What if there is data in there that not everyone has any business accessing? Everyone accessing every file is a security issue that you should not be risking.
Implement a Mobile Device Management Solution
The cloud enables mobility for your business’ employees, but it also means that users will be taking data out of the office with them. A mobile device management solution gives administrators control over these devices to guarantee security and data integrity.
Have a BYOD Policy
If you allow your employees to bring their own devices to the workplace, you should have a policy set up so that your expectations for them are as clear as day.
Scale the Cloud to Fit Your Needs
There is no doubt that your business will grow, and its needs will change. Be sure that you are only paying for services that you need for employees that need them. For example, one employee might leave the company, so you should revoke their access immediately to make the transition as painless as possible.