Top Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses
Running a small business in today’s modern world is both challenging and exciting at the same time. It is challenging because being a business owner basically means dealing with a series of problems, almost on a constant basis. It is, however, exciting due to the fact that there are more resources you can use to solve those problems, and that solving each problem means getting one step closer to your goals as a business owner.
Resources that help you become a better business owner are easier to find. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the top cloud solutions that will help your small business run smoothly from day one.
It is difficult to argue that Gsuite isn’t the best cloud solution for emails, file storage, and small business collaboration. The suite of Google services is designed to offer everything a small business would need to maintain smooth operations.
Gsuite comes with Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Docs as the basic features. Of course, these aren’t the only features you will find when you sign up for a Gsuite account. You will also find tools such as Duo and Google Keep making business-related activities like meetings and notetaking more enjoyable.
This being Google’s own suite of cloud services, Gsuite works seamlessly with Android phones, Google’s own Chromebook, and any standard web browser. You can synchronize your passwords and bookmarks if you connect your Gsuite account with Google Chrome browser.
As an added bonus, you can use your own domain name when using Gsuite. Instead of email@example.com, you can have firstname.lastname@example.org without manually setting up a mail server or configuring your own web services.
There are a lot of agile project management tools that implement the Kanban methodology, but Kanbanize is no ordinary Kanban tool. For starters, Kanbanize is designed to have all the features you will ever need to adopt the Agile principles. Boards can be fully customized, and you can add details to cards.
The Kanban methodology for knowledge work was created to help streamline Toyota’s manufacturing line a few years ago, but it has since been known as an effective way to manage projects and tasks. Considering just how extensive the tasks that you need to manage and execute as a business owner are, adopting Kanbanize early is highly recommended.
Kanbanize also integrates well with other cloud solutions. You can, for instance, update the status of your Salesforce entries based on edits you make to cards on Kanbanize. This type of integration also allows certain tasks to be fully automated, saving you more time and money in the process.
Kanban is even more valuable when you factor in the need for efficient team management. Rather than having to manually keep track of tasks assigned to a team member, you can now see projects and tasks in their visual form directly on your digital Kanban board.
Disaster recovery is one thing that many small business owners often neglect; Information security is the second. Both are closely related since you cannot do seamless disaster recovery when you don’t have enough security measures in place.
Considering that most businesses store over 80% of their operations (in the form of files and digital information) in the cloud, not having a backup routine would be a big mistake. Even when you rely on a capable cloud service for storage, you still need to make multiple backups of mission-critical data.
Let’s say the cloud service you use isn’t accessible. Having a backup that can be restored or even accessed immediately allows the business to continue operating smoothly until the cloud service returns to normal. In the event of a hardware failure, you also have backup images to turn to.
Carbonite offers the best of both worlds. It allows you to make and maintain offline backups with its software, but it also offers enough cloud storage space for several computers. This means you can maintain online and offline backups seamlessly and without worrying about manual work.
The last service we are going to discuss in this article is CloudPhone. The name of the service says it all. This is the cloud service to use if you want to set up multiple phone lines – in virtual PBX form – for your business. Investing in an on-premise PBX solution isn’t always an option when you are a small business, but that doesn’t mean you cannot benefit from using a PBX system altogether.
Thanks to cloud computing and CloudPhone, you no longer need expensive hardware and complex setups to set up a PBX system. You get the same advanced features – if not better – as conventional PBX systems, but without the usual hassle of setting up the system in your office.
Cloud PBX using Cloud Phone also comes with added features. You can, for instance, set up an automatic answer for better call routing. You can have extensions for specific departments. All calls can be routed to any number in the world, all without sacrificing call quality or robustness of the system.
In fact, CloudPhone goes a couple of steps further. Customers can leave messages, both in writing and as a voicemail. CloudPhone offers a large catalog of local numbers too, so you can appear local (and big) even when using cloud PBX.
There are so many other cloud services that your business can benefit from. Zapier lets you integrate multiple services and automate tasks. That last part is also important when you are a small business, mainly because automation is how you boost output without increasing cost.
Finding the right cloud solutions to use is usually the trickier part. There are so many options to choose from and identifying the right solutions for your business means evaluating the available options and matching them to the specific requirements of your business. Complete this process correctly, however, and you will find more tools that are as valuable as Gsuite, Kanbanize, Carbonite, and CloudPhone. It will not be long before you have the majority of your business running in the cloud.