One thing almost all independent contractors have in common is mobility. Whether you’re meeting with prospective or current clients, at a networking event, or running your business from a co-working facility, having immediate access to files and data is important.
In the last five years, cloud adoption across the nation has increased from less than 20% of firms to more than 70% for small companies. Cloud computing allows software services to be delivered online. This includes storage solutions like Dropbox, virtual office programs such as Google Docs, and web-based email services.
The cloud is an affordable way to access information from any device, from any location, at any time. Aside from providing peace of mind, the cloud can also help grow your small business, saving time, money, and boosting productivity. Here are five ways cloud computing can change the way you do business.
Typically, launching a new business requires costly hardware and software, but cloud computing is much more affordable and can help you save on upfront costs. There are a variety of ready-to-use email, software, and storage applications as well as resources to help you build a website and securely manage payment information. Cloud computing is a competitive market, which means there are a lot of quality products available that are continually improving. And because the cloud is always connected and running on the latest version, you won’t have to worry about the hassle and cost of upgrading software.
With the cloud, you don’t have to invest in a lot of infrastructure, which helps to level the competitive playing field. Most cloud solutions are subscription or licensed based, allowing you to choose the option that works best for your business. With cloud applications, you’ll minimize instillation, maintenance, and upgrade costs. With this flexibility, you can quickly respond to customer needs, making your services more competitive.
Having quick and easy access to data can foster innovation by allowing you to evolve your business with changes in customer preference and demand. Cloud management services can help you stay organized and minimize the hassle of maintaining multiple cloud accounts. Otixo manages all your applications—such as DropBox, GoogleDrive, SugarSync, or Facebook—in one location with a single login. You can drag and drop to move files from one service to another, and easily encrypt and share files with clients. Maintaining these applications in one location streamlines client communication and collaboration, and allows you to quickly tweak and transform your services to align with changes in the market.
The cloud provides a secure method of file backup in the case of a computer crash, lost smartphone, or stolen laptop. Files saved to cloud applications are encrypted and stored on remote servers that belong to large corporations with the resources to keep data secure. SpiderOak is a storage option with a strong focus on privacy and security; all of your files are securely encrypted and only readable by you. The cloud is also a helpful way to securely transfer files to your clients. Hightail allows you to encrypt and send files of any size from your computer or mobile device. This can provide a welcome added layer of security for your clients.
Immediate access to files is vital for mobile professionals who not only need to frequently communicate with clients, but who also need to get work done on the go. This increased mobility and flexibility can lead to additional cost savings, and helps to maximize your time and resources. As a business of one, you have to do it all, so simplifying business infrastructure can be a big help.
Cloud computing is an ideal solution for independent professionals, and has become a catalyst for small business growth. Take advantage of secure file storage, save on time and expenses, and stay flexible to grow your business.
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News and notes for independents and their clients around the web. This is the February 8, 2016 edition.