by Christophe Primault
Published on 3 November 2011
In the last two years, many small businesses have moved all or most of their IT into the cloud. Some are startups "born in the cloud" ( like us at GetApp.com). Some are just doing it because cloud apps are "trending." But, all of us are also doing this because it makes complete sense!
Small businesses can discover hundreds of useful applications from online marketplaces such as the Google Apps Marketplace or GetApp.com. These applications help almost every aspect of their business. As examples, consider Zoho, AtTask, Zendesk, Assistly, TribeHR, Xero, Mavenlink, BrightPearl, Shopify, and the list goes on…
Benefits from these applications are many.
Main advantages of cloud applications
You can use a free trial to get familiar with the product and make sure it meets your own unique needs. SaaS products are intuitive to use. Usually, you get efficient and friendly support from their vendors. You only pay for what you use. Finally, you can integrate inhouse applications with SaaS applications using the latter's Open APIs or by using services from dedicated cross app integration specialist such as OneSaas or RunMyProcess.
You can also integrate your core applications with popular, mainstream applications such as Google Apps, Intuit or Salesforce. This is because these applications encourage SaaS vendors to integrate their core CRM, accounting, email management and online collaboration solutions into their solutions.
Using SaaS Apps is hassle-free because you don't need to deal with installations or upgrades. You can stop using the service anytime based on your convenience or if you find a better or cheaper option.
Your SaaS applications also integrate with mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android-enabled devices or Windows Phone app. This should enable you to access your business information from your favorite smartphone or tablet.
You can cut on IT costs
But, best of all, you will save a lot on IT costs. If you are "cloud born" guys like us, you may not even have a server or a network. We don't. Even if you have a bit of legacy to deal with, most of you will find yourself gradually scaling down your IT resources to just a web-browser.
Small businesses are smart. They discover cloud applications to fit their needs, make them work together efficiently, and benefit from the productivity and cost-saving gains. It is only a matter of time before they transition their IT to the cloud. Along the way, they will also wave goodbye to expensive servers, network and telco infrastructure. Hopefully they will be able to turn their IT personnel in business process analysts to find efficiencies, invent new business models, offer better customer support and ultimately gain more profitable customers.
As a small business applications directory, focused on cloud apps, we see which applications are getting popular with our users.
Recommendation of popular business apps to start saving on IT costs:
Zoho Suite: is a cloud-based integrated suite of business applications for small business geared towards increasing productivity and easy collaboration including: CRM, accounting, support, applicant tracking, Help Desk, Project Management, Document Management…
AtTask (now Workfront): is an online project management software that provides a 360-degree view of all workplace activities. It helps all company staff to better understand and organize their work, improving workflows and productivity
Zendesk: is a cloud-based customer support and help desk ticketing system. The driving idea is that providing great customer support should be as easy as buying a book online. The solution integrates well with all of support channels including email, web, chat, and social media
TribeHR: is a complete HR management app that makes it easy to manage your workforce. You can track job applicants, manage vacation time, job descriptions, performance, skills and goals.
Xero Accounting : is an accounting software designed for small businesses and their advisors. It is easy to use and you get an immediate up to date overview of your business finances, bank transactions and cashflow. It works well on your mobile,so you can see who owes you money on the go!
SAP StreamWork: is a collaborative tool that helps with getting a consensus and your decision making. You can unite people and information in a single workspace using a catalog of preconfigured, interactive business tools, to benefit from collaborative decision.
For more choice for apps that can help be more productive and cut your IT costs, check this list of the 25 most popular web apps on GetApp.com: