When speaking of the cloud, most consumers automatically think of storage (such as the services in our online storage comparison chart). While being able to archive and backup a system is important, it’s not the only thing that makes this technology so appealing.
There are many different ways the cloud can boost productivity in the work place. Here are 10 ways that it can help to make businesses more productive.
1. Access Anywhere
Being able to access files from anywhere is a true plus for businesses. The talent pool is no longer limited to a local area. They can hire anyone with access to the Internet. In addition, if an area is struck with inclement weather, and workers are unable to make it into the office, telecommuting can keep the company going without missing a beat.
One of the greatest assets of the cloud is its availability from any location. Databases can be pulled up on mobile devices at a moment’s notice. They can be shared with selected members of staff if necessary.
2. Real Time Collaboration
More and more companies such as Box Business are starting to offer tools for businesses that will allow users not only to access files anywhere, but work with others on projects no matter where they are. This means business partners from all over the world can stay up-to-date on the venture even if they are in different locations.
This helps to increase worker efficiency and speed up the process by removing the need for endless emails with attachments containing revisions.
These collaboration tools often not only allow multiple users to open and edit a document at the same time, but also has a chat feature that enables project partners to communicate real time. This alleviates phone call and emails back and forth and speeds up the process.
3. Increased Productivity
The ability to access files and databases anywhere and collaborate with other workers enables people to work faster and smarter. Instead of leaving a meeting and rushing back to the office in order to finish a project, employees can simply access the documents on their mobile device.
It cuts out lengthy phone calls, emails, and waiting on others to send users what they need to finish on a project. The less time wasted, the more productive a company becomes.
4. Affordable and Reliable Technology
Companies such as Amazon Web Service, Microsoft’s Azure and VMware allow companies to utilize the cloud to do heavy computing and analysis. This hardware is maintained not by the user but by the parent company, making it up-to-date and reliable to use.
Costs for these products are affordable to ensure that corporations can take advantage of their services. Often, the total bill is based on the amount used within a given period, with a minimum fee applied.
By renting space on a cloud server, companies will have access to technology that is well maintained and possibly more reliable than what they have available in-house.
5. Lower Costs
It is expensive to purchase and maintain equipment locally. Not only does the hardware need to be updated on a regular basis to make it the most up-to-date version available, but a staff has to be hired to ensure it runs properly.
Utilizing cloud tools can cut down on some of this cost.
Renting space, or an entire server is less expensive than purchasing the equipment for local use. The company that owns the hardware will ensure that it is up-to-date and maintained for use. A smaller IT staff is needed to ensure onsite employees are taken care of.
6. Reduce IT Maintenance
With onsite servers, IT spends a good portion of their time updating and maintaining the equipment. By utilizing cloud services, they can spend their time working on real IT issues. They will spend less time rolling out patches for security on local devices and work on projects that can make the company more efficient.
They can help design and distribute applications to the workplace and maintain databases for corporate use. All server maintenance will be up to the cloud provider, freeing up IT to do their thing.
7. Make Bring Your Own Devices a Reality
More companies are looking to reduce costs by allowing employees to use their personal devices in place of corporate supplied technology. This helps to ensure that the workers have the most up-to-date technology at their disposal, while cutting overhead costs.
Cloud technology doesn’t rely on one system or type of device to work. It can be accessed anywhere with any instrument, mobile or desktop. The only thing required is Internet access, and possibly software to access specific file types such as word documents or PDFs.
By enabling employees to bring their own devices, companies are allowing them to use what works best for them. This increases productivity and efficiency.
8. Improve Communication
Endless emails and missed phone calls can make working on a project frustrating. Cloud collaborating cuts out the need to email pieces of a project back and forth. Instead of waiting on it to come to an inbox, workers can collaborate real time, with messaging abilities allowing them to “talk” about the project.
Many of these cloud providers also offer a way for administrators to keep tabs on projects. It allows employees to give them constant updates and the supervisors a way to give feedback immediately, opening the line of communications to the executive level.
9. Encourages Employee to Grow in Their Jobs
With all this improved communication and increased productivity, employee growth is encouraged.
Workers will be motivated to complete their jobs quickly and will naturally adapt to more responsibilities as the company grows.
10. Increased Security
Security is a major and very valid concern among companies. While it might seem like administrators will be turning over the well-being of their proprietary information to a third-party, the data is actually more secure.
Contrary to popular belief, hackers are not the biggest risk to a business, it’s employees who lose devices that contain sensitive information.
Cloud services not only allow sensitive information to be backed up on their servers, but many have tools in place to allow IT administrators to wipe drives remotely. This means that the data is saved, but can easily be removed from compromised devices even though they are not in reach, helping to maintain security at the corporate level.
Cloud computing can make a company more productive. With increased communication, reliable technology, and less maintenance, employees can spend their time working instead of waiting for the pieces they need to complete a project.
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Telecommuting and using personal devices is a great idea, helping businesses save money and tap a potential talent pool not accessible in the past.