The “cloud” is more than a buzzword in marketing and IT support circles. It’s a valuable hub of shared internet tools for the business world. For SMBs, there are many benefits of cloud computing.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is that it enables team collaboration for local and remote teams.
Before we dive in, let’s get on the same page…
Here is Pegasus’ definition of the cloud:
The cloud is a pool of shared resources enabling scalability, elasticity, and high-value computing power available from multiple locations and devices.
Implementing cloud applications (or web applications) for your business is a good subject to discuss with your IT support company. Cloud applications can increase productivity and improve the bottom line.
Let’s dive into a few examples of how cloud computing can benefit your team.
3 ways cloud computing benefits team collaboration
Communicate with your team in real-time
Cloud technology makes team communication more convenient and robust. The cloud enables new ways of working together. Chat-based workspaces, for example, enable employees to collaborate on team projects without being next to each other.
Cloud communications platforms are very popular for SMBs that need the flexibility of a remote workspace.
A recent study found that 77% of businesses adopt a cloud communications platform because it supports remote work.
Microsoft Office 365 and other business applications have integrated chat, video, and phone call features in the cloud to make it easier for teams to connect.
These apps can also be integrated seamlessly with your web browsers and email programs. Integrating communication plugins in the browser means you don’t have to shuffle around to find your chat window. Integrating cloud communication into email means you can instantly view presence and availability, and initiate a chat from an email when desired.
Improve file sharing with faster handoffs and response rates
Nearly 40% of corporate data uploaded to the cloud is related to file sharing. When we are transferring so much data online, it’s important that it be fast, easy-to-use, and able to handle large files.
Cloud-based file management improves team collaboration by enabling:
- Instant access to files - no matter where the team is located
- Co-authoring of documents
- File syncing
- Version control
- Large file storage, uploads, and downloads
These key features cut out the sluggish transition of files over email and eliminate the need for having so many physical files on hand.
Improve team accountability with better record keeping
Another advantage of the cloud is that it preserves records of activity and data. Timestamps are one example of the cloud’s record keeping.
Timestamps improve team collaboration by establishing transparency and increasing accountability.
Timestamped dialogue accounts for peers’ productivity each step of the way and helps develop consistent, constructive feedback. This is a great benefit for training individuals and establishing more cohesive ground rules during our day-to-day tasks.
Think about it:
If your team operates on an open forum where assigned duties are visible, and everyone can easily leave suggestions for improvement, teammates will:
- Be open to constructive criticism
- Soak in the expectations of their employer and peers
- Be on the same page as their team
Consistent feedback between employees improves their openness to other viewpoints, helps them learn the parameters set for their position, and strengthens performance standards through iteration.
Cloud Computing Tools for Small Businesses
Team collaboration tools have made it easier for teams to do more with less effort, at a faster rate, and with higher output. Though the cloud has changed the way our teams collaborate, it still has many flaws. With the cloud, security becomes a larger concern with the more files you share. It can be difficult to account for file accesses for employees as your company grows. And, because you're dependent on the internet, internet outages can cause a huge loss of company productivity.
To move to the cloud and mitigate risk, we recommend making the switch with the help of an IT solutions provider. When you build a relationship with managed IT professionals, your business will benefit from their expertise. Managed IT services providers also help businesses manage technology security, reduce downtime, and more.