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Limited by your own technology? Three simple ways cloud computing might help your small business


For the small business owner, these are all too familiar scenarios: you’re out meeting clients and pitching for new work, but the documents you need are on a computer back at the office – and they’re too big for a colleague to email over to you! Or, you’re at home in the evening, when it becomes apparent you need to work on a document that’s in a folder on the office server. It would be easy to open your laptop and start work, but you just don’t have remote access.
Breakdowns like these are all too familiar to the smaller business owner, but adding just a few simple pieces of cloud computing into the mix, could help make improvements to your productivity.

Share and collaborate

If a big change to company infrastructure is out of the question, then adding a file-hosting service to the mix could quickly eliminate access problems. Many file-sharing services (Dropbox being amongst the most popular) allow users to create folders on their computers which then synchronise with a website where documents can then be placed and shared easily with colleagues and accessed from multiple devices. Google Docs is an alternative service, where documents can be uploaded, shared and edited, and made viewable on most devices where you can log-in to Google.

Data back-up

Beyond the file-sharing sites sits a range of providers (JustCloud is one) that act as a data back-up so that should your hardware be compromised in any way, your information will be held in reserve remotely and not lost. These services also act as a good way to transfer massive files that are too big for the consumer end of the file-sharing market.

Project management

In a small business project management can be difficult. Often, projects take you away from your core responsibilities and necessitate encouraging others to do the same. So, how do you keep everyone on the same page and ensure that work’s being done to schedule? Well, what about a single website to help you keep everything together? 

Project management tools (Basecamp is long established and a goodie) can neatly organise everything you need for a project in a private and secure location. They can deal with file storage, to-do lists, manage real time chats, as well as message boards, and help you assign work and chart its progress. What’s more, they can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, by anyone you have given access to – so no more excuses about a project falling behind!