Nobody likes paying for things they don’t use. From finishing a restaurant meal when you’re already full, to calculating just the number of minutes you’ll need on your phone plan, we hate to hand over our money for nothing.
In a traditional office environment, business owners are forced to estimate how much server space they’ll need as they grow, investing in expensive hardware to store company data. That’s all changed in just a few years.
Once the sole domain of large-scale corporations, cloud computing is now infinitely accessible to even the smallest of businesses. Do you utilize web-based email services like Gmail? Better still, have you ever stored a file in Dropbox? If so, you’re already in the cloud.
If you’re intrigued but not sure how to proceed, here are four ways that cloud computing can make life easier and increase productivity at your business:
1. No More Busy Work
Cloud-based software is now available to do everything from manage your invoicing to calculating payroll. Tedious tasks that once required a specialized bookkeeper or hours of your own time can now be managed almost entirely within the cloud, leaving more time for you to pursue the work you enjoy.
2. Streamlined Collaboration
Some businesses still pass around paper copies of reports for employees to update, print out a new copy, and pass it on. Others have evolved into using email attachments for the same process. The smartest ones, however, utilize a shared file within the cloud. When everyone can access the files they need, work happens faster.
3. Liberate Yourself
When files are stored remotely in a cloud, you can access them anywhere. Which means you can work from Paris, Bangkok, or Sydney.
4. Only Pay for What You Use
Ah, yes, the financial incentive. Why pay for hardware storage that, one, can fail and lose data, and two, requires that you pay in advance for storage you might not use? With cloud storage plans, you pay only for what you need, allowing you to grow naturally and at your own pace.
What other ways has cloud storage improved productivity at your business?
About The Guest Author: Sue Poremba blogs for Rackspace Hosting, the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system.
Cloud Computing Photo via Shutterstock