Surveys show that 85% of businesses in the US are using more than one cloud solution, so there’s no doubt that the cloud has gone beyond trendy to become the new norm for businesses with 10-100 computers.
Although most people understand that cloud platforms allow you to access files and software applications via the internet, many of our clients in Rockford and Beloit never knew how much more was possible until they signed up for our IT consulting services.
#1. Remote IT support
There are few worse ways to start the working day than by logging in to find mission-critical systems aren’t working. It prevents your employees from doing their jobs until a technician shows up and may even force you to close the office entirely so software patches can be installed.
Moving to the cloud isn’t just about accessing files and software apps over the internet – it’s also about remote technical support. Instead of waiting for a technician to show up after something goes wrong, cloud solutions can be updated and repaired remotely. Sundog’s team of certified cloud technicians monitor our clients’ systems round-the-clock for red flags so small issues can be resolved by connecting in over the internet, and oftentimes before they even become issues in the first place.
#2. State-of-the-art security
With files being accessed over the internet, it’s easy to see why so many people assume information security is weaker in the cloud. In reality, most data breaches are the result of employee error, whether they’re working on on-premises computers or ones hosted in the cloud.
With a managed IT services provider like Sundog monitoring your cloud-based systems, you won’t ever need to think about security. Everything will be cared for in a datacenter that even small- and mid-sized businesses can afford, with advanced encryption standards and antimalware protections included in the price.
#3. Mobility beyond apps and files
Using web applications and editing documents online is convenient for users, but those are only a sliver of what’s possible with cloud solutions. Employee mobility is greatly enhanced, as smartphones and laptops can perform tasks that small-business owners didn’t dream of just a few years ago.
Cloud-based phone systems like SundogVoice take full advantage of this mobility. You can make and receive calls from your office number with almost any internet-enabled device. Another full-fledged mobility solution is hosted desktops, which allow companies to save big money by moving apps and hardware offsite to the cloud.
Whether you’re making a phone call from your laptop or using your smartphone to open an invoice on your desktop, the cloud is about much more than editing Word documents.
#4. Simultaneous collaboration
Back-and-forth exchanges of email attachments or files on USB drives is extremely frustrating. If one person gives the same file to multiple people, it won’t be long before dozens of conflicting and confusing versions are floating around. Such a process is hardly efficient and has serious implications for data security and integrity.
Cloud solutions have solved this problem with something called “co-authoring.” Instead of saving a separate version of a file every time you alter it, changes are saved in real time so multiple people can edit a single file simultaneously. There is always one version, and every change is visible through a user-friendly timeline.
#5. Increased hardware performance
If you’ve got the money, high-end hardware is a great way to improve employee productivity and company growth. Unfortunately, small organizations with limited IT budgets can rarely afford it, unless they are signed up for a cloud solution and the robust computing power and cutting-edge systems that come with them.
For example, if you need to transfer hundreds of invoices from your email platform to your accounting software, that’s going to take a lot of painstaking effort and a fairly long time for the average user. However, if you’re using Outlook in Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 and QuickBooks online, your office PC doesn’t need to do any of the work; it just needs to give directions to the cloud servers. You’ll be working with some of the fastest computers on the market for a low monthly fee.
Over the next few years, on-site servers and data storage will become more expensive as supply dwindles due to the rise in cloud solutions. But if you’re still not ready for fully managed, cloud-based IT support, at least check out our free eBook: 20 Signs Your Business is Ready for Managed Services.