by Guest Author on November 19, 2012
As the owner of a small business you are no stranger to the documents, contracts and photos that you can amass on a daily basis. Keeping tabs on all of these things can become a bit tedious as you go about your work day. Depending on your business, you will need to call up these documents at various times during the day and perhaps even at various locations other than the office. With the growing popularity of document storage and the use of cloud computing, being able to do these things has never been easier.
Use the cloud to streamline your business
Choosing to use one of the many cloud services available on the market right now can be an important part of streamlining your businesses into becoming more efficient, as well as more mobile. Because all of your documents are uploaded and stored in the “cloud” ( really, just a fancy word for the internet, think of it as an online-thumb drive that you no longer need to carry with you), you will have the freedom to access your documents, reports and files anywhere that you have Wi-Fi access.
Save yourself the headache
This kind of document storage also relieves the headache of having information stored on just one computer. Getting documents onto your smartphone, tablet or laptop has never been easier. A meeting at a coffee shop or business other than your own no longer requires you to lug around a tangible folder or stack of papers as they are all easily called up through the folders and files saved onto the cloud.
Empower your business through document sharing
Any owner of a small business needs to be able to share certain files among other employees or co-workers. Using a document storage service can allow you to share these files, letting multiple employees view one master sheet at the same time. Next meeting, rather than converging over one mutual computer monitor or stack of papers, everyone can view the same page simultaneously through the comfort of their own screens.
The cloud can help your bottom line
Another great benefit of these services is the price options that come associated with them. Depending on the volume of files you will be using, many cloud computing options come with a great price points, if there is one at all (many services offer free storage up to a certain amount). Also, depending on which service is used, mobile app integrations are becoming more and more common. This can be a great benefit for business owners with a lot of traveling and out of office time.
Below are some of the best cloud storage services available right now, how much they will set you back and what they offer.
Google makes their entry into the cloud computing market with their version, Google Docs. Accessed directly from your Gmail account, the ease of its availability is certainly a plus. Google offers you an initial 5 GB of free storage with paid packages starting at $2.49 a month for 25 GB up to a 16 Terabyte plan for $799.99 a month. That’s almost a year’s worth of HD videos if you were curious.
Dropbox is probably one of the most widely recognized services of cloud storage on the market today. With a great mobile app and free introductory storage space, it’s easy to see why. First time users can enjoy up to 2GB of free storage space with prices for paid storage starting at $9.99 a month for 100GB and moving on up for additional storage. Dropbox comes with a load of benefits from a track-able list of who opened which file at what time to a “no-downtime” philosophy.
Amazon Cloud Drive
If you are a user of one of Amazon’s Kindle devices, using the cloud service offered from them makes for a pretty smooth transition. First time users of the Amazon cloud storage can use up to 5 GB of free storage, with pricing options than being determined on how much and for what purpose you than use their services for. A full list of pricing options can be found on their site.
Deciding which service to use for your business is mainly determined by how much you plan on storing on a monthly basis. Often times for a small business, a free service will generally get the job done, but if your company requires a little bit more storage, consider using one of the services listed above.
What about you, what services listed or not listed here do you use? We would love to hear from you.
About the Author
David Rocke is a self-professed computer geek and tech savvy blogger and writer for the Chicago based company, Vanguard Archives. He writes and blogs on a variety of topics from digital rights to offsite tape storage.