Accessible from anywhere
The most obvious benefit of cloud solutions is that they’re available from anywhere. Office 365, for example, gives you a full suite of familiar Office productivity tools and puts them in the cloud, letting you create and edit documents from home, from the coffee shop, from the train or from the office. You can work wherever you have an internet connection. The experience is the same wherever you are, and you can access Office 365 (and most other cloud applications) on a range of devices.
Communication made easy
The same is true if you switch to cloud telephony or communications solutions. Even better, you don’t need a dedicated handset to make and take professional business calls. Good solutions offer a softphone app that gives you full VoIP (and – if you have it – UC) functionality in your smartphone, laptop or tablet. Make calls from your computer, wherever you are.
Collaboration in the cloud
When your team is connected to the same cloud-based tools and services, they can work together without compromise. Cloud-based UC, for example, lets employees use voice, video, conferencing, chat, IM and email to communicate, so they can choose the right channel for every occasion. Group chat allows for informal collaboration. A video conference can be used as a more formal all-team meeting. Screen sharing lets dispersed colleagues see the same document simultaneously, so everyone is literally on the same page.
And cloud collaboration goes further, letting users edit documents in real time and see everyone’s else’s edits in real time, too. It replaces endless email trails with one version of the truth that everyone has access too.
A cost-effective alternative
Switch to cloud connectivity and you might even save money. When it comes to telephony and UC, cloud-based systems do away with the need for a lot of in-house equipment. All the telephony infrastructure is housed in the cloud. You don’t even need to invest in dedicated handsets if you don’t want to.
At the same time, most cloud tools are easily and infinitely scalable. You don’t need to buy a whole new software bundle when a new employee needs access to Word, Teams or Salesforce, you just add a new licence to the service. It takes just minutes to get up and running. And because you don’t invest in software, you can scale the service down just as easily, so you’re only ever paying for exactly what you need.
Safe and secure
Cloud connectivity takes a big burden off your shoulders and passes it to your provider. Updates are applied at source, so you’re always using the latest and most secure version of any application. It’s up to the provider to secure the service with the latest firewalls and virus protection. Good providers will also house your cloud services in multiple highly secure data centres, for extra reassurance.
And at the user level, edits to documents and files tend to be saved automatically, as soon as a change is made. There’s never any danger of a distracted colleague wiping a day’s worth of progress.