Cloud storage and computing can benefit small businesses in many ways. It can be cheaper than buying storage space locally, it gives you a way to access your data securely from any location, and it lets you back up your information if something happens to a local copy. Thanks to all these features, home businesses in all industries are using the cloud. Setting one up can be harder than it looks, however, so consider these tips as you’re getting started.
Pick the Right Platform
Image via Flickr by BrotherUK
Many companies, apps, and software platforms offer some sort of cloud access. Some systems focus on backing up information and syncing it with all your devices. Some give you public and private sections that make collaboration easy. And still others give you plenty of storage space at a low price but do little else. Before you sign up for a cloud-based program, figure out what you want from a cloud, see what’s available, and pick the best option for your company’s needs.
Keep Security in Mind
The major problem with storing your information remotely is the fact that you can’t be sure who can see it and download it. However, companies that offer cloud services can protect your information with encryption. Good encryption makes information look like gibberish to any computer that doesn’t have access, and so it’s a standard feature for most cloud companies. Check for encryption when you research these companies, and also check how they restrict access and manage sharing permissions among you and your employees.
Play Around With It
Whenever you start using a new program, you should spend some time getting used to it. That goes for new software and apps along with everything else, and it’s certainly true for any new cloud service you sign up for. That’s why you should get to know the program and the service before you start using it for your business. Don’t expect your employees to immediately know what to do and how to sync and share data. Getting to know the cloud will help you use it correctly and teach your employees before you risk losing important data.
Educate Your Employees
Aside from teaching your employees how to use your company’s cloud, you should also make sure they understand your company’s protocol for how and when to use it. For instance, Office 365 online documents default to public, and your employees should understand that they can easily switch it to private mode. Create a set of rules and guidelines for your company cloud, and make sure you and your employees know them before using the service.
Cloud computing and cloud storage can be incredibly helpful regardless of the size of your business, especially if your employees and contract workers live in different parts of the world. However, to make the best use of it you should know what you need, which services offer it, and how to use it properly before you put your sensitive information at risk.