When people hear the words “cloud computing” most, if not all of us usually think of file storage. Whether it’s Google Drive or Dropbox, many of us see the ‘cloud’ as nothing more than a modern storage server that we can access from anywhere.
However, cloud computing is so much more than just file storage. The cloud can also handle tasks, activities, and business processes to increase productivity and efficiency.
In an age of digital technologies, we owe it to ourselves to maximize the way we use the Internet and our devices. Using cloud computing can also reduce costs and make businesses more flexible, especially for those who have to deal with tons of different tasks on a daily basis.
That being said, here are 8 additional tasks that you can move to the cloud in order to be ahead of the competition and do things faster and more efficiently.
1. Unifying Communications
Both large- and medium-sized companies can certainly stand to benefit from a cloud-based unified communications platform.
Services like Slack, Google Hangouts, and Flock allow its users to communicate with each other both in real-time (video calls, audio calls, and instant messaging) and non-real-time (email, voicemail, etc.)
By unifying your different communication channels under a single platform, your team’s productivity becomes more flexible, and they won’t have to worry about looking for specific devices to access a particular conversation.
Cloud-based unified communications are not just limited to a company’s internal communications. It also allows you to increase customer communication and access each interaction with each customer all together in one place.
2. Cloud Telephony
Making calls through conventional phone networks is a thing of the past. Nowadays, people use cloud-based phone systems to make the Internet serve as a communications hub for making phone calls. This technology is also referred to as VoIP (Voice Over the Internet Protocol).
The most attractive feature of using the cloud to make phone calls over the Internet is the reduced cost. Anyone, from individuals to companies, can make phone calls at a much lower cost, as long as they have an Internet connection. You can even get the clearer and more stable audio quality that traditional telephony simply can’t match.
With phone calls being one of the fastest ways to send and receive information, using cloud telephone systems in your business allows you to stay productive from anywhere.
You no longer have to worry about changing your provider whenever you travel. As long as your device is connected to the Internet, you can use it as a cloud-based phone while retaining all your data no matter where you are.
The infrastructure for cloud phones is usually hosted across multiple locations as an intentional redundancy. This means that if a server or two fails for some reason, data is not lost, and you can still have easy access to the information you have stored.
3. Data Analysis
The ubiquitous use of the Internet has made the analysis of information especially crucial for any business that wants to remain competitive. And, in this age of digital information, it is important to be especially efficient and fast in crunching data to obtain useful knowledge that can optimize your business.
One of the ways in which businesses keep their cut above the rest is by using cloud computing to analyze input and output data. All the information that a business acquires and produces is usually too big to be stored offline and it is much better kept and analyzed in the cloud.
Having a detailed insight into how your customers interact with your business through different platforms provides an easy way to create marketing campaigns in a more effective way.
4. Accounting Software
Cloud-based accounting software reduces risks by offering protection from server failures and attacks. Additionally, the fact that all data can be stored online allows employees and team members to easily access and work on it anytime, anywhere.
Collaboration is also made much easier when accounting is done on the cloud. Not only can multiple people work on the same data together, but security levels can also be managed, allowing certain employees to have access only to certain authorized information.
Additionally, automation is a key benefit when accounting is done on the cloud. Users can input data and commands, and the software can come up with a workflow to handle automated payments and invoices.
Finances are a complex aspect of any business and require careful and sensitive handling of data. That’s why enabling services on the cloud can increase efficiency due to the automation, security, and support that are always readily available.
5. Project Management
With services like Trello, Clarizen, and Basecamp, teams are finding it easier to collaborate on different projects all at once, no matter where they are in the world.
Especially in an age where work-from-home setups are steadily increasing, it becomes more important to ensure that productivity is not just maintained but increased when team members are working from different places at the same time.
Cloud-based project management systems have convenient interfaces that allow for various degrees of task management, file sharing, and communication.
Trello allows members to see who is working on what, while Clarizen offers automated business processes, dynamic reports, and customizable workflows to fit the different needs of different teams.
6. Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software allows you not just to automate and synchronize all your business processes; they also allow you to monitor all the aspects of your business in one go, including sales, purchases, inventory, and even CRM (Customer Relationship Management.)
Businesses have grown more and more complex over the years, and they will only continue to grow in complexity as our use of technology increases. ERP software usually comes with different options for scalability, allowing businesses to adjust their portfolios according to their specific circumstances.
They can also be deployed in multiple worksites, so large companies that have different branches across different locations will find the most value out of ERP software.
Being able to access all the relevant information about the company and its customers in just a few clicks with cloud-based ERP software allows businesses to adjust to new environments faster and be able to monitor the market and move accordingly.
7. HR Management
Keeping up with the various tasks of Human Resource (HR) management can be quite a daunting task, especially for companies that operate on a multinational scale with thousands of employees.
That is why many of these companies have moved their HR management to the cloud. Having a centralized monitor and tracker for all relevant HR data increases a company’s efficiency, especially when it comes to payrolls, disciplinary sanctions, and attendance.
Companies that also send their employees to work at different branches from time to time will also largely benefit from having a cloud-based HR management system so that they always have a bird’s eye view of which employees are at which locations, without missing a beat.
8. Data Security
With cloud computing security, sensitive data, apps, and servers are all protected not by one computer, but by a wide set of policies, technologies, and controls. Basically, it uses cloud protocols to protect data that would otherwise be vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Securing extremely sensitive data in a single place is a recipe for a data breach, and it can be quite costly and difficult to both manage and remediate.
By keeping large amounts of crucial data in the cloud, companies can be assured of automated and centralized security, along with reduced costs and easy access by authorized users.
9. Data Backup
Data backup involves the storage of big amounts of data which requires the setting up of actual data servers and backup sites to ensure that a company’s entire trove of data is preserved, in case of disastrous events.
Cloud-based data backup not only reduces costs by removing the need for physically reinforced storage, but it also allows for faster backup restoration, especially if you pair this with the fact that cloud-based data backup can be dispatched anywhere without needing to deploy truckloads of drives or servers.
Cloud-based computing has come a long way, and it is here to stay. The benefits of Cloud Computing on remote work, data management, team productivity, and other crucial business processes are definitely helping many organizations to become more and more competitive.
The potential of cloud computing is limitless, and the tasks mentioned in this article are only the tip of the iceberg.
As technology evolves, companies and individuals are continuously finding more and more ways to use cloud computing. It is already a given fact that cloud-based computing is a sure-fire way to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing costs.
An increasing number of businesses are beginning to embrace cloud computing as a regular part of their operations. As the adoption of this technology increases, cloud-based solutions will also need to adapt and respond to it in the next few years.