For most people, technology is an integral part of business. Indeed, it seems impossible to get anything done without the use of a computer, phone or the Internet.
However there is the familiar worry about security of data; what happens in the event of a power cut? What if documents are accidentally deleted? Why does there still seem to be an endless trail of paper if multiple people are collaborating on a project?
Thankfully, cloud services have come into their own, eliminating these problems in business. There are a huge number of services that can help companies manage their IT services, from streamlining accounting processes to enabling access to documents whilst on the go. Here are just some of the ways in which cloud services are helping businesses:
For many businesses, communication is key to client and employee relations. Internet calling services, such as Skype, have become invaluable as they enable business discussions and meetings no matter where attendees are, speeding up business processes and saving time and money.
Faxing is also now something that can be done via the cloud. Cloud-based fax services have made regular fax machines almost obsolete, as companies can send and receive their faxes via a computer or mobile device. When using an online service SMEs can save valuable time and money, as they are quicker and easier to use and use less paper and ink than a manual fax machine. There are examples of super-secure cloud-based fax solutions such as Sfax, which allow businesses to send and receive sensitive documents and information safely.
Cloud based services enable immediate access to documents and information anytime, from anywhere in the world, from any device that can access the internet when it is present.
Cloud services enable multiple people to easily access documents and information on the go, wherever they are. Increasingly hectic lifestyles mean that this is a huge benefit; using specialist software accessible anywhere there is an internet connection, businesses save valuable space and money on paper, ink, toner and other equipment. It also allows simultaneous access to and editing of documents.
Now that more and more businesses offer services rather than products, their value is often not in assets but in intelligence. The importance of keeping their, or indeed any business’s, data safe is therefore vital to survival. Even with large hard drives, the risk of corruption or hardware failure is still present. Many companies are subsequently turning to the cloud to store their data. Using these services negates the need to run expensive servers, saving space and money. You can also schedule regular backups, saving time and making file management much easier.
The cloud has made saving space and managing documents easy thanks to online document storage services. These services can offer super-secure document depositories in which to keep your scanned and digitized documents. These are then accessible through search functions and are available anywhere via an internet connection. The availability of cloud services on many devices from smartphones to laptops makes them perfect for SMEs.
When it comes to accounting, effective organization, time-saving and complex calculations are all made possible by online accounting services such as Quickbooks. The software allows for high speed invoicing, convenient storing of details and easy tracking of expenses and profit. Accessible from anywhere in the world, it is ideal for SMEs.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Dell Inc.