The cloud is a remarkable tool, but it’s one that a lot of businesses still haven’t adopted for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are worried about security. Maybe they are worried about placing their data in the hands of a third party, or perhaps they don’t 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.
But why the cloud? Why should you invest in it, and what can your business hope to achieve through its use? The sheer flexibility and scalability that it can provide your organization with is enough reason to at least consider the cloud as a viable option. Instead of purchasing solutions for each and every desktop you have in your office, you can instead just 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. As long as 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’ 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’ll 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 is compatible and if not, replacing those. Don’t forget you will also have to acquire software licenses for each and every one of them. The cost in manpower, money and time can quickly grow beyond 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’ll need if something happens to your in-house infrastructure and you need access to your data fast.
- Voice over IP: 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’ll find that VoIP 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:
- Restrict access to files on a user basis: It’s 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 shouldn’t 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 your administrators control over these devices to a certain degree to guarantee security and data integrity.
- Keep Bring Your Own Device in mind: 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 your cloud to fit your current needs: There’s no doubt that your business will grow and its needs will change. Be sure that you’re 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.
To get started with the cloud and collaboration tools, reach out to KT Connections at 605-341-3873.