It’s a foregone conclusion that software is migrating to the cloud. From MS Word, to totally new software and ideas, most productivity software for small business will be cloud based in the near future.
In fact, pretty much any software you currently use, other than your operating system, will eventually all be cloud based.
As a small business owner, you want to choose cloud based applications that save both time and money but, that actually work. Here are my five tips for choosing well.
Before any business chooses any software, it’s important to know the answers to a couple of questions.
1. Is It Budget Friendly – While using some free applications can get you started, it is not always a good idea to make using free cloud based applications a permanent choice. Spending money wisely is the best way to ensure business success. Often, choosing free software for your business carries the risk that you will outgrow it. Consider setting a budget and starting off with the free version of upgradable cloud applications so that you won’t have to completely switch gears when you out grow it. If it doesn’t have a paid version yet, it may be best not to pick it.
2. What Functions Do You Need? – If you don’t even know what you want the cloud based application to do, then how can you evaluate which program will work for you? Write a list of what you want the application to do, then conduct a search. For instance, if you want project management software that handles multiple clients, contractors, and billing you need to know that in advance of your search.
After clarifying those questions, it’s important to evaluate each cloud based application thoroughly to ensure that it meets all your requirements.
In addition to the functionality requirements you might also consider the following:
3. Security & Reliability – Ask the company you want to work with about their security procedures. Any developer that creates cloud-based applications knows that keeping data secure is imperative. The good thing is, if you choose well, your data is more secure in the cloud than it would be if it was on your office PC. However, you must do your due diligence and choose a company that has a proven track record, and who is willing to answer your questions.
4. Interface & Accessibility – A cloud based program, like any service, needs to have an interface that you understand, and that is accessible through multiple devices and locations. The fabulous aspect of cloud apps is that normally, just by having an Internet connection and a device, you can sign in and use the app. However, this is not always a given, so ask the right questions to be sure. Also, ask to try a free version if one is not readily available.
5. Customer Service Availability – One of the issues with using free cloud based applications is the lack of customer service. For some technically challenged business owners, this can make using the app impossible. If you cannot contact customer service easily before you’re a client, you might want to rethink becoming involved with that business.
You can also check this link to discover the right cloud business app for your business needs