A previous post, Top 10 List: Top Cloud Computing Benefits for Your Small Business outlined the essential benefits your business will reap from using Cloud apps.
But in the course of our workweek, there are tasks that take up much or every business owners’ most precious resources, time and money.
So, as a cloud evangelist, allow me to point out 5 recurring tasks your team will never have to do again when you move to the cloud:
1. Backup your Outlook account.
Email is the primary method of communication for every business and backing up is mandatory. PC Magazine wrote an excellent article that outlined 10 steps to back up your Outlook account. These steps included:
- Copy the PST file you created to a location you can get at later.
- Find and copy the Autocomplete (NK2) file
Really? Cloud based email services, such as StreetSmart email have an email archiving feature that automatically backup and archives your business email in the cloud, available from any web-enabled device. You don’t have to follow 10 steps; actually you don’t even have to turn it on. For those of you who want to keep their Outlook, cloud based email services such as StreetSmart, sync with your Outlook. Truly, the best of both worlds.
(and for those SMB owners who use Yahoo or Gmail and assume your email is being received, read this)
2. Air-condition your dedicated server closet.
PC Magazine: Many smaller businesses don’t have dedicated server closets. Be cognizant of what space you have available and the dimensions of the server you are interested in, as well as the form factor. Airflow and temperature considerations need to be taken into account as well. Consider, too, that servers can be quite noisy when you’re picking one out. If it has to live in a workspace, you’ll want a quieter one.
A quieter one? A frightening thought. Cloud based programs are hosted on world class IT infrastructures from companies, such as InfoStreet’s that guarantee 99% uptime, offer redundancy and have been providing enterprise level cloud based services since 1994.
3. Pay for products or services you don’t use.
Every time you boot up your computer, do you notice all those icons for programs your company bought that are sitting there? Many were one-time purchases; others were bought for an annual fee, typically per seat. Each unused icon represents lost time (to set up, train and upgrade) and money.
With cloud computing, you pay for what you use, like a utility, instead of investing in a fixed capacity infrastructure that may either exceed or fall short of your organization’s needs. From Read,Write Web
4. Pay, and pay and pay for maintenance on all that equipment
If you have fewer physical computers and server then they’re going to cost less to maintain and repair. There’s more to this one, though. If your applications and data are in the cloud, hosted by someone else, then when your physical computer breaks down – and they do eventually – then all of those applications and data are still safe. Your service provider will handle all of the backup, antivirus and other security concerns so you can concentrate on your core business rather than running your IT.
5. Run Back to the Office to:
- Retrieve a document or presentation that is sitting on your desktop
- Turn on the server so that your remote PC program can actually connect
- Do your billing, monthly reconciliation or payroll.
Remember the days before smartphones when you had to run to the office to retrieve your voice messages or log onto to your computer to get our emails? Inconceivable isn’t it? Cloud computing simply takes this paradigm shift from landline to cell phone to the computer. Small businesses need to conserve capital, work smarter and be more nimble to react to an ever-changing business landscape and cloud computing, like cell phones, free up resources that can be put to better use.
Imagine what you can do with all that free time and unspent money.