Tommy Wyher| Cloudtweaks
The days of storing paper files in stacks of boxes are long over. But digital storage for small businesses can still be a headache without the right technology.
Cloud computing, however, is an easy and data-friendly way to keep every file you need safe and easily accessible in one online location.
Better Storage and Protection
Cloud lets businesses store any amount of data without worrying about maintaining a private server — something unrealistic for many small businesses. With cloud computing, small businesses don’t need to rely on purchasing hardware that can accommodate a lot of data, because the cloud stores it all and makes it accessible from anywhere. Not only is the issue of losing data essentially gone with the cloud, there are also myriad ways the system can protect your files. It’s possible to limit employee access to files, increase encryption and monitoring on certain data, and limit the amount of data accessible from certain devices.
Easier Access for Employees
Employees can edit documents simultaneously with cloud computing; one person’s edits won’t be lost because another person opens the document. Similarly, employees won’t be locked out of viewing if someone else has the document open. They can also access information from any Internet connection. Problems like extra copies of documents or problems backing things up offline and to specific devices, which Google Drive has had issues with, are gone with cloud computing.
More Efficient File Sharing
Sharing files on the micro level is easy on the cloud — but so is moving and saving large quantities of data. Moving to a new office or selling part of a business used to mean transporting lots of files and data backup headaches. Since cloud computing keeps information in one place, a new office or a new bundle of data is no problem.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Increasingly, companies are allowing employees to use their own devices both in and out of the office. The cloud makes that even simpler, since devices don’t have to stay connected directly to an office server to access information. Instead, people can reach the cloud from their own devices, which means easier telecommuting and better on-the-road access for travelling employees. Plus, BYOD frees up businesses from having to buy, maintain, and update office devices. As discussed previously, cloud computing also offers several security solutions to keep sensitive data from being accessible if a device is stolen or hacked.
Faster Testing for New Ideas
Since everyone has access to company documents, employees and teams can test out new ideas and models in real-time. There are no messy email chains, no stacks of copied documents, and no memos floating between desks. If you’re trying a new strategy, a new plan for a project, or new creative work, everyone in and out of the office is involved at once, increasing efficiency. Answers about whether the new implements are effective come much faster since ideas and results are there immediately for everyone to see.
Cloud computing is automated and maintained by an outside company, which means a business’s IT department won’t get bogged down with employee issues regarding the cloud. Often times, the same people who provide your Internet will provide a cloud service as part of the package, like Verizon fiber optics, which means that you’ll be relying on one company to fix issues and answer questions relating to both the Internet and the cloud.
Plus, the people who provide the cloud service are worried about maintaining, improving, and fixing the software. This is an advantage for businesses too small to have in-house IT support, because a single company will be able to answer most questions and fix most issues, saving you from having to pay third parties to untangle data woes.
With cloud computing, some of the most frustrating data storage issues no longer exist for small businesses. Be it sharing on-the-go, having a secure backup of all files, or being able to limit who can get access to what and from where, cloud computing is a fantastic way to de-clutter servers and increase employee efficiency.