Cloud applications have gone down a storm with companies everywhere, but what is the cloud really used for, and how can it benefit your business?
You’re probably using some cloud based software already; they are programs, such as web-based email accounts, that you can access from any platform connected to the internet. This has massive benefits as it means that you don’t have to buy software multiple times and install it on all of the devices you use.
The cloud revolution has truly taken off, and there are lots of useful apps to simplify processes. We take a look at ten of the best.
Dropbox is a nifty little program that requires you to install an interface onto your computer/phone/tablet, but also links to an online account where all of your files are stored. You simply ‘drop’ documents you want to access later into the program and they can be viewed or shared on any device. Accounts, or just parts of accounts, can be shared amongst teams. A great time-saving alternative to email and memory sticks.
Basecamp is a cloud based project management tool. It’s designed to be a collaborative platform where projects and people from different departments can be brought together. This means that discussions, files and feedback are all in one place making it easy to keep track of progress. Very useful for businesses with a lot of projects on the go.
DocuSign has simplified the document signing process. Files in a variety of formats can be added to the program and sent to chosen recipients. ‘Sign here’ tabs can be dropped directly onto the document in places where you need clients to initial. The app is a great solution for businesses that need a lot of things signed quickly.
Freckle is an app that helps you to manage your time. It can track who has worked when, on what days, and on what project so you can see what you, your teammates and employees have been doing. It also keeps a watchful eye on your budgets, with a great feature that can automatically round up your minimum billing increment.
Toggl is another time-tracking application. Its stand out feature is its simplicity: it works like a stopwatch, but has a manual mode if you forget to click. You can tag time entries and get an instant breakdown showing which projects are the most labour intensive. This is a great cloud alternative to time sheets.
iCloud is an application produced by technology superstars Apple. The premise is very simple; it automatically syncs all of your content from Apple devices to the iCloud server. This means that you can access your business files, photos, calendars, documents and more anywhere, anytime. As with most Apple products, it’ll be interesting where they take it next.
7. Concept Share
Concept share is a collaboration platform that allows businesses to stay in contact with team members through an in-built messaging system. You can also transfer files and plan events. A plus point is that it can be scaled to suit businesses of any size.
Gliffy produces professional diagrams and flow charts. It is quick and easy to use, and can create floor plans, organizational charts, Venn diagrams, and more. It’s great for companies who produce a lot of diagrams and are looking for a low-cost solution.
9. ContactWorld For Disaster Recovery
Cloud based apps have had a major impact on call centre technology. In the past, events like extreme weather, transport disruption or technical problems brought businesses to a halt. If a disruptive event does occur ‘disaster recovery’ programmes enable people to log into ContactWorld wherever they are and answer diverted calls and emails.
Freshbooks is an accounting app that helps small businesses organise their pay roll. It helps you to easily track time, log expenses, and invoice clients. Its simple and intuitive design makes it ideal for those who find accounting complicated and intimidating.
These cloud based applications can help your business run smoothly. They simplify processes by cutting down on time and effort, allowing you to access files anywhere and making it easier for people to collaborate. This leaves you free to do what you do best: run your business!
[author ]Katie is a freelance writer with an interest in the latest technology. She lives with her cat Albert.[/author]