Which cloud service is best for small businesses?
Cloud services are no longer an option for small businesses. It is now a necessity for SMB’s (Small and Medium Businesses) that are determined to drive business innovation in a secure, scalable, and adaptable environment. In this 21st century, and especially during these uncertain times, more SMB’s are embracing cloud services like never before. This can be linked to the numerous significant benefits that traditional storage can’t provide.
With cloud services, small businesses can enjoy more agile processes, elite security, availability, among others, that will make their procedures faster and more efficient. Below are two of the best cloud services that can offer SMB’s the adequate resources needed for them to compete favorably in the market and work remotely during this Covid pandemic:
Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 is one cloud service that is guaranteed to provide small businesses with the best service for email hosting and office suite. Office 365 allows the acquisition of all its modules, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, among others, in SaaS plans, or Software as a Service. When using Office 365, you have access to the full featured client/desktop version. This includes the full featured outlook version, which has significant advantages over Gmail or outlook web version.
The key benefits of this cloud service for SMB’s include:
- Offers apps for tablets and phones: Office 365 allows greater collaboration and increases team productivity. There are unique applications for tablets and smartphones. Thus, there is an almost immediate productivity gain, since all users can access e-mails and documents directly on their device, with a few clicks.
- Online storage: Office 365 subscribers are entitled to use 1 TB of cloud storage through another Microsoft application, OneDrive. You can store, sync, and share your files so everyone can have access to the latest. Get access anytime, anywhere from your favorite devices. However, as amazing as Office 365 is, when it comes to “online storage”, Google Drives is a more efficient cloud service solution for small businesses.
- Share files and edit in real-time: With Office 365, there can be quick and easy exchange of files among coworkers, and you have the ability to edit documents in real-time. You can also use your Office 365 subscription on 5 devices, which makes remote work more convenient.
- Constant updates: Microsoft releases monthly updates aiming to insert new functionalities, improving security, avoiding failures, and look for corrections.
- Online conferencing: With Microsoft Teams, you can connect securely with your team from anywhere in the world. Never miss a meeting, send an instant message or choose online audio and HD video between multiple participants to work together face-to-face, from any location.
- Task management: With the Tasks app in Microsoft Teams, you can view your individual tasks from Microsoft To Do and your team tasks from Planner. End the chaos of organizing teamwork and be more productive. Create plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about work, and keep up with progress very easily.
- Create and edit presentations: Office 365 offers users the ability to create, edit and share business presentations with PowerPoint.
When it comes to data storage for small businesses, no other cloud service offers better resources than Google Drive. It allows you to save all your documents in the cloud, share and access them from anywhere, which makes it perfect for remote collaborative work.
Google Drives’ business version extends beyond online storage and office suite, through the G Suite service. It also serves to manage email (Gmail), maintains text, audio, and voice communications (Hangouts), organizes meetings and events (Calendar), and even launch your own website (Sites), all under the same platform. In addition, as it is a paid service, advice, and personal support via telephone or email is included. However, Office 365 is a more effective cloud service solution when it comes to email hosting, team communication and organization of meetings
The cost of the Enterprise version of Google Drive varies depending on the users who are registered and the storage of each user, thus adapting to the number of employees or co-workers that you have and the amount of storage that you need.
The main benefits for SMB’s include:
- Teamwork: Google Drive creates an environment that enables several people to work on the same document, spreadsheet, or in the same slide show, all at once, with its intuitive annotations and its chatbot and video calling options.
- File sharing: This cloud service can be viewed as a virtual closet in which you not only store your files but organize them into compartments. You can have a folder with accounting files, another for sales, and even one for external clients. And the interesting thing is, at the end of the day, every time you upload a file to the cloud you can add or remove edit privileges so that it is only accessible to those people you want. This basically means that you can make the accounting folder only accessible to the accounting team, etc. There are so many possibilities once you start exploring them.
- AI learning for quick search: Searches are powered by machine learning that uses artificial intelligence. This allows it to understand what users are looking for and offer content much faster. This quick searchability with AI further translates to an automated organization.
- Top-notch security and control: Also, security is another key benefit, as all company data is protected by advanced privacy controls and Google’s secure infrastructure. In addition, you can analyze and transfer large amounts of data to Google Drive Enterprise with ease, thanks to smart migration tools.
- Remote business management: Google Drives allows you to access business data from any location, which makes it possible for you to work and manage your business affairs remotely.
- Reduces cost: With this cloud service, small businesses will be spared of the financial burden that comes with purchasing costly IT infrastructure and maintaining it. Your business can also save on expanding local storage, as all business data will be managed in the cloud.
- Backup and recovery: After migrating your data to Google Drive, it can save you from spending money to acquire extra hardware or infrastructure to backup critical data. It is important that small businesses use Google Drive alongside cloud service providers like M-IT services, who provide integrated backup features to ensure 100% preservation of critical data.
- This cloud service offers. you unlimited storage, backups, and quick recovery whenever you wish, as a service.
Google Drive offers a wide variety of subscription types for businesses which include the Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus plan, which can serve SMB’s adequately.
With these cloud computing services, small businesses can compete favorably in IT when it comes to enhancing their competitiveness since it allows companies to be more agile and make more efficient business decisions. Any SMB that fails to take advantage of the cloud is missing out on gold mine, and the consequences could be detrimental in the future.