Cloud computing represents a quantum shift in how businesses can conduct themselves in the 21st Century. The thing is, cloud computing is not only a catchy phrase, it’s also an oblique one. “In the cloud” has, in the last few years, become shorthand for any facet of IT that seems overly complex but, for businesses, it can be boiled down to a single tenet: Work Anywhere.
Cloud computing involves connecting to computers located elsewhere in the world and letting them do all the file storage and number crunching for you. This means that as long as your employees have a login to your business’s online system, they can theoretically work from anywhere – the office, their homes, a hotel, or even a taxi while they’re in transit, provided they have an internet connection. This freedom alone is enough to pique the interest of most businesses, and there are plenty of companies like Data#3 that specialise in helping get your adventure into cloud computing started.
The true beauty of cloud computing, however, lies in its connectivity. All of your staff will have access to the same files at the same instant and be able to see any updates in real time. They can also look back over previous updates with timestamps and the names of everyone who has contributed to a given file. It allows the lines of communication to always be open and for everyone to know what everyone else is working on so that very little time is wasted on anything that doesn’t require attention.
Never lose another file
How many times have you come into work and found your computer or portable hard drive, where all of your most important files are kept, has died during the night? Felt that panic as you realise your files, the ones you’ve been working on for months, may now be gone forever? Cloud computing eliminates this problem by storing nothing locally unless you specifically ask it to. All of your files are stored remotely, can be accessed at any time and are automatically saved every time you so much as press a key on your keyboard.
Another benefit of cloud computing is the ability to automate many of your more mundane day-to-day tasks. Updating certain spreadsheets, for instance. Drawing up a list of people to call. Little things that take up valuable time. With those jobs taking care of themselves, your staff will be, once again, free to work on more important things. The difference this can make, purely from a time management perspective, is significant.
Cloud computing means that not only are your files and information stored remotely, they are also secured behind some of the tightest online security available today. Any fear of hacking or malware infections can be put to rest in the knowledge that everything your staff are working on, no matter where they are, is safe and secure. You can even activate two-factor authentication for anyone working remotely to add an extra layer of security.
These are just a few of the less technical ways cloud computing can be of significant benefit to your business. Has your business embraced cloud computing yet? Sound off with your experiences in the comments below!