Every business owner has heard the benefits of implementing cloud computing and cloud-based solutions. Even you would be familiar with the stories of the enormous savings that come with the use of the innovative technology called ‘the cloud.’
Of course, cloud-based management solutions have their fair share of advantages and benefits, but unless they are implemented the right way, these tools will fail to deliver the expected return on investment.
Studies reveal that cloud computing and cloud-based solutions are ranked as the top technology priorities for business owners. It’s a fact that cloud solutions can enable the team to focus more on strategic tasks while remaining agile and flexible.
Businesses with the sudden influx of tasks are increasingly taking advantage of the flexibility cloud solutions offer. With so many money invested in the cloud, the question is – are businesses getting the most for the price they are paying?
Well, as stated earlier, the benefits of cloud computing can only be achieved when businesses carefully plan and execute the transformation. Regardless of the size of your business, the cloud management solution you choose should be aligned with the strategic vision of your business.
On the other hand, there has to be a detailed implementation plan. That’s right. Your business plan should include details regarding how you will manage cloud data and what should happen in case the system goes down, or data is lost during the process.
It is essential that every person in your organization from top-level executives to junior team members should know the impact these management solutions will have on their jobs as well as the benefits it will bring to them and your business.
Like any other business plan, implementing cloud management solutions requires a detailed risk management plan. Make sure you bring in key stakeholders during the planning process and build a road-map for successful implementation of the solution.
What Can You Expect?
Before launching any management solution, you should understand what your business aims to gain. If your business needs are not identified early, you might end up choosing solutions that either don’t deliver significant value or they keep running into problems and have a negative impact on other business projects.
Considering the competitive environment these days, businesses require speed and agility that can only be matched through the use of cloud services. The good thing about these services is that you can help yourself while stimulating creativity and innovation.
Remember that the core idea is not to install any new technology, but adopt a new way of working that will significantly reduce your risk of failure and wasted investment.
How Should You Go About Things?
As you would do with any other business decision, start with thorough research. Ask yourself what do you really want out of it? How will you measure the impact of the management solution as well as ROI?
With so many management options, it can be slightly overwhelming to decide which service is the right one for your business. While you are researching your options, know more about the potential benefits of using the management solutions. It is also vital that you are well aware of the potential risks and challenges that might be thrown your way.
Cloud management tools are software and technologies that are designed for monitoring and operating applications with data and services residing in the cloud. Most cloud services can be accessed through your web browsers like Firefox or Chrome and through other dedicated mobile applications.
Some of the cloud services that you may already be using include Google Drive, DropBox, Netflix, and iCloud. Other than these consumer products, many business-related solutions run through the cloud as well including strategic management tools that allow companies to conduct their operations efficiently without owning large servers.
Perhaps the greatest thing about these cloud servers is that you can access your information using any device with an internet connection. In fact, you can access data using multiple devices at the same time, and this makes collaboration and file sharing extremely easy.
Cloud-Based Management Tools in Action
Cloud management tools ensure that your business resources work in best conditions and are efficiently interacting with other services and users. With cloud computing infrastructure becoming more and more popular by the day, a more complex and wide variety of private, public and hybrid cloud-based software can be found for all kinds of work and industries.
Flexible and scalable strategic management tools are accomplishing millions of tasks every day. Let’s have a quick look at how these tools are performing in different industries.
Communication and Collaboration
Any company is only as good as its employee’s ability to work together and accomplish tasks. Asana is one such collaboration service that makes the teamwork easy and fast. They also have a free version that supports collaboration between 15 team members. This feature is more than enough for start-ups and small businesses.
For communication ease, companies have always used voice over IP (VoIP) tools which have previously been only built for large organizations. However, with tools like Citrix Grasshopper, any company can now quickly set up their own VoIP tool and use features like call routing, voicemail and faxing.
Video conferencing is crucial for almost any business today as transactions trespass national and international boundaries hence and simple tool for small to medium-sized companies to allow video chats is Click Meeting. It offers a free trial of 30 days and has a low-cost price point with many exciting collaboration tools like shared desktops, whiteboarding tools, and in-app private chats.
For an E-commerce solution, Shopify has been deemed the king of all e-commerce platforms because of it’s easy to set up infrastructure that can be trialed free for a month. It has a vast selection of free templates and other tools that will make your online business much easy to keep in check.
Managing your online social campaigns will be made so much more comfortable by Hootsuite. It combines all tools of listening, publishing and third-party integration options in a comprehensive package that can be scaled as your business grows so that you don’t pay for features you won’t use.
Tools for social media analytics are also essential, and an excellent option for that regardless of your company’s size is Sprout Social. It too comes with a free trial for small businesses with many different pricing options and clear interface.
Another important tool for commerce based industries where it’s needed to gauge how your product is doing amongst your market is survey management software like Zoho Survey. Slack can be used by all businesses to communicate throughout the work day by teams of all size and is as good as Microsoft Teams, both of which can be chosen based on preference and specifics.
For Security and Monitoring Networks:
Today information is the new oil which is why companies need to make sure that their data and their customer’s data is always secure. If your business requires an understanding of how your applications, websites, and servers are performing, then Spiceworks Network Monitor offers excellent network monitoring at no cost.
For security, anti-viruses software have a great importance which is why Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is renowned and has been scored the best in tests. It scans fast and takes little space.
Companies which make the decision to move their finance-related data to the cloud have plenty of choices to pick from so all that a company needs is to determine what their needs are and what kind of a software fits them the most.
Agiloft Contract Management offers unlimited customization options which can be adjusted to the way your company handles its contract management. It provides the best automation and simplification tools for how you operate, create, and store your contracts.
Business Planning Tools
Starting your own business is definitely exciting, but the toughest challenge is to come up with a business plan that communicates your ideas. You know that having the right business plan can help you attract the right resources and people that will make your idea a success.
Most people assume that a business plan is a detailed document that has to be hand-written. Well, you can now have a comprehensive business plan which is as short as one page. That’s right.
Cloud-based business planning tools not only help you design a plan, but you can keep it updated as your business matures. There are plenty of SaaS businesses planning tools such as LivePlan, One Page Business Plan that are relevant to your business.
The Final Word: Bust the Cloud Myths!
Cloud-based management options are an excellent fit for an organization where more value is placed on flexibility. Remember adopting a cloud-based solution does not mean you shut down other data centers and move everything to the cloud at once.
Ideally, cloud solutions should never be treated as an all or nothing approach. In a world where privacy breaches dominate the headlines, a number of challenges exist in the control and security of the technology.
It is crucial that you research about the vendor and be familiar with the service(s) you want to adopt. Make sure there are no security concerns, and you clearly understand the cloud model that is put to use. Here’s hoping that you can find a cloud software that helps you execute your business goals and move closer to success.