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Cloud Computing Tools for Small Businesses

While cloud computing is most often associated with large corporations, there are numerous tools for small businesses that can increase productivity in a similar fashion. Many small businesses already use simpler cloud services such as Facebook, Gmail, and others. However, if a start-up wants to enjoy the freedom of accessing its software and information on remote servers from nearly anywhere, then it is well advised to use some of the articles described below as a starting point.

Log Me In

functions as a basic and free service granting a user remote access to his computer from any location with Internet. Any business can profit from its users working from home or during travel, and most business owners will prefer the freedom and flexibility of easy remote access.

Harvest

allows a business to track online invoices and affords several desirable features. Users can create online invoices, view employee and contractor time sheets, and arrange for online payment. Harvest also offers basic project management functions such as detailed and filterable time-tracking reports. In addition, most of Harvest’s features extend to mobile devices and Gmail accounts.

ZenDesk

streamlines customer support efforts. The cloud platform offers reporting tools, ticket management, and other features to make customer service more effective at resolving complaints. The reporting and analytics can scrutinize support trends, volume, and customer satisfaction ratings. The ticket management feature also allows a business to prioritize issues, automate responses to common ones, and foster collaboration between users.

Carbonite

Small businesses requiring frequent backups of voluminous data should consider Carbonite as an option. Carbonite enables easy backup management by automating the process for each computer in an organization any time it detects an Internet connection. Restoring files is easy, and all backup operations run unobtrusively in the background. Furthermore, a browser-based dashboard allows for easy monitoring of each computer’s backup status.

Dropbox

is not new, but it functions as an easy data storage and file-sharing solution. All workers can use remote access to transfer and securely store information.

Google Drive

also facilitates collaboration and supports a wide variety of document types. The software supports document sharing, uploading, and file creation, and changes are accessible to other authorized users in real-time. Again, remote access via the cloud translates to convenience and an additional safeguard against data loss.

Google Analytics

For businesses with the need to monitor and improve their websites, Google Analytics provides a solution. Google Analytics provides traffic statistics such as volume of visitors, duration of visit, landing page, bounce rate, keywords used to find the site, and much more. Furthermore, the user interface does not demand technical expertise and most users will have little trouble unlocking its advantages.

The cloud’s benefits await all businesses, whether fledgling efforts or multinational corporations. Small enterprises can easily and quickly adopt the cloud’s advantages of freedom, convenience, and collaboration for relatively low cost. While the above list serves by no means as the only options, it provides a reasonable starting point for further research into affordable, small-scale cloud computing software.

About the Author: Jake Gavins works as an custom applications developer and has experience with cloud application development. During his spare time, he likes to go golfing, hiking and to keep up with the latest in technology.


A big fan of cloud computing that does cloud working, managing his websites from anywhere, anytime using cloud apps and cloud-enabled devices. Also runs other cloud-related sites, such as Cloud Business Review, TheCloudInfographic.com, TheCloudJobs.com, and some other websites.

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