Never closed with cloud computing

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Owning a small business owner means never being off the clock. It might 3pm on a Saturday and you’re drifting peacefully in a boat across a lake and one comment from a fellow weekender flips you from relaxed weekend mode into business mode. Of course this is only one example, these little episodes can happen at a family dinner, a dental appointment, in a dark movie theater, or any one of a billion scenarios. In all these scenarios you are innately equipped with your person business acumen; however if the situation gets serious you will probably find yourself without specific documents that may be required to seal a deal. This is where cloud computing is vital.

If you aren’t backing up and securing your important documents online (i.e. “the cloud”) than you are cutting your business off at the knees. Paper is still a vital part of contract work and long term secure storage, but having remote access to contracts, legal documents, sales and communication materials, everything else vital to the operation of your business is imperative.

Cloud computing can be confusing, but the general idea is anywhere, on any device you can download, edit, and upload your materials. No matter what files you need to access cloud storage affords the possibility find and use them at a moment's notice. For the most basic of examples look no further than word processing. In a non-cloud operation you would need a desktop computer with Microsoft Word or some equivalent. The cloud options for word processing are so open it will make your head spin. Microsoft 365, Google Drive, SalesForce, DropBox, ZoHo– any and all of these all you to open, create, edit, finalize, and share word processing documents on practically any web enabled device. As if that’s not enough, many of these cloud tools allow for multiple users to have these documents open, simultaneously editing and saving them.

The funny thing about these tools is how price wars have been waging for so long in this industry that cost is virtually nothing. With Google Drive it is nothing, that is unless you start backing up large media files like pictures, videos, infographics then securing enterprise wide business storage and usage is only $25 a month for limitless users. DropBox, Microsoft, SalesForce they all price in very similar fashions and the resources beyond storage and document editing make non-computing the real cash furnace.

Do you NEED to embrace cloud computing? Well it depends on if you want to work untethered and secure new business even when your storefront says “Closed for Business,” because with cloud computing as an asset, that sign is thing of the past.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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