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How The Cloud Is Saving Time and Money

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

With the evolution of the Internet, the pace of business has accelerated and become more complicated. Many owners of small and medium sized business are busier than ever managing the many facets of their companies and trying to learn and leverage new technologies at a rapid pace. That’s where the cloud can make a huge difference. Cloud tech can do many things, including helping businesses streamline and improve their business operations, better connect with customers, and save time and money in the process. Whether your business is large or small, cloud is most definitely not only the way of the future –it’s a cornerstone of successful business operations today.

Our team has been using cloud tech for quite some time now. We use it for everyday things like team collaboration, time tracking, customer invoicing, payroll and accounts receivable, project management, customer service, inventory tracking for our clients and data backup for our business. The rise of the cloud has created the opportunity for businesses to achieve big leaps in productivity, helping save both time and money. When it comes to many of the things we use cloud technology today for in our own small business, I can’t imagine ever going back to the old school way of doing things. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using cloud and how that might apply to you and your business.



Security: Data Back-up and Redundancy

One of the biggest problems of handling digital data is the issue of back up. It’s all too easy to accidently hit that delete button and your one and only copy of an important file might well be gone forever. Hard drives and USB keys aren’t indestructible – they can easily fail and frequently do. If the only copy of your data happens to be on one of those devices, you’re out of luck.

The biggest advantage of using cloud-based tools in business is the ability to easily back-up all your important data offsite. While having an onsite back-up, such as a portable hard drive, is valuable; if it’s kept right next to your computer and there’s a fire, not only is your original data gone, your back-up is toast as well.

Cloud back-up services such as Dropbox and Google Drive are excellent and cost effective tools to back-up files. Other archival services such as Carbonite and BackBlaze provide the ability to automatically back-up all the files on your computer passively in the background. I especially love this type of service, since it doesn’t require any action on my part – it just happens automagically. After the initial upload, these services also constantly search for any updated files and upload the changes automatically, keeping everything in sync and up-to-date. For anyone who’s ever lived through any kind of data disaster this is a very inexpensive data insurance policy that you’ll be glad you put in place should disaster lightning strike twice. 

Flexibility: Your Files are Available Everywhere

Along with data back up and redundancy, the cloud offers a ton of workflow flexibility. No longer is your data trapped on your office computer. Through cloud-based apps like Dropbox for storage or Freshbooks for accounting, you can get to and interact with your data not only on all your devices, but on any device or computer, anywhere. Many of these solutions are fully cross platform too. It doesn’t matter if you’re an iPhone user or Windows is your thing; by taking advantage of the cloud, you can access your information or documents quickly and easily, no matter where you are. 

Productivity: Easy Collaboration With Your Team Members

Technology and the Internet of Things has made it possible to work from anywhere and with teams of people not necessarily in the same physical location. We live this on a daily basis, as our entire team is virtual, with many of us not even living on the same continent! Using the cloud to collaborate with my team in real time has significantly increased our overall productivity. Apps like Asana make it easy for us to manage projects and track team milestones and accomplishments from any of our connected devices. Team members can keep one another updated instantly and deal with any issues or concerns right away, from a single online hub. This has enabled us to work with awesome people and to add greater value to what we deliver for our clients. This wouldn’t be possible without cloud technology. 

Cost: Reduce Technology Infrastructure Costs

In the old days, everyone in your office would require their own computer (usually a Windows PC,) and a large, onsite IT support staff to manage and deal with all these individual devices. On top of that, everyone’s data lived on their local machines, which made sharing difficult. Add to that the complexity of communicating by email and overflowing inboxes and you’ve got a real productivity killer.


Cloud technology has enabled businesses to greatly simplify their data infrastructure by eliminating the need to have a bunch of expensive computers and; instead, utilize shared resources. Also, since dedicated hardware is not needed and in the age of BYOD (bring your own device), your staff can always use the devices they already own, namely their laptops, smartphones and tablets, to access the cloud. For remote teams, this works even better.


This article was written by Shelly DeMotte Kramer and originally published at:


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