When you’re running a successful startup, one thing you have in mind is growth. You’ve tested out a great business concept and found that it works. You’ve identified potential opportunities in other markets and established some promising contacts at networking events. But the additional work can put a strain on your initial resources, even with the best efforts of your talented team.
At this point, many entrepreneurs can find it intimidating or confusing to deploy cloud computing technology, but it’s a fantastic solution for business efficiency even as it allows companies to scale up and expand their operations. Here are some basics to get you started.
Start with VoIP
At the startup level, your team can get by just fine with calling each other’s mobiles and maybe the one office landline. But adding headcount and dealing with an expanding network of clients creates problems of scale.
A VoIP phone system can be the perfect solution for small businesses looking to grow. You’ll have the same clarity and ease of communication with local contacts from the UK and international clients. As new employees join the team, you simply need to order a new extension and hook them up with an Ethernet port. And you can improve efficiency with easy-to-use call routing and mailbox management.
Backup and storage
One of the most basic services provided by cloud technology is data backup and storage. Almost every business today relies on the use of essential files – from videos and images to sensitive process documents and analytical results.
Having this data only stored on local computers used by employees is a solution that only works on a very small scale for startups. As you look to grow, the size of files, the frequency of their usage and modification, and the potential damage of losing such critical information to a corrupted hard drive, all make it impractical to continue without a cloud-based backup service. Such systems are easy to use, provide auto-update and sync features, and create offsite copies of your data so that there is no threat of losing everything to a malfunction.
With the advent of cloud computing, leading software developers, such as Microsoft and Adobe, have embraced the cloud model and offered software solutions that are cost-effective for businesses and end-users. In previous decades you’d have to purchase entire CDs of professional, industry-standard software packages, along with the license to install them on several workstations. Now you can select the app or bundles of apps that you need on a monthly or yearly subscription model, for example.
As you grow beyond the startup phase, you’ll definitely find that paying for industry-standard software packages on an as-you-need basis is a fantastic deal. You won’t need a dedicated IT professional for installation and maintenance because these services are cloud-based.
Mobile support and tracking
Increasingly in today’s world of remote working, employees value flexibility. For instance, they might be able to get work done from home while attending to family needs. And as a business owner, you may also have encountered situations when you are traveling and need access to files from whatever device you have handy – a phone, a laptop, or a tablet.
Several existing cloud services offer different versions of their software for desktop or mobile. And other apps allow for tracking changes and collaboration across multiple documents, allowing users to work together without being in the same office.
With the ability to expand and scale-up, while maintaining flexibility and streamlining operations, cloud computing offers the best opportunity for your small business to grow and have a competitive edge.