According to Gartner, global expenditure on public cloud services will increase by 23.1% in 2021 to a total of $332.3 billion. Cloud applications or software-as-a-service will also account for the largest spending share at $122.6 billion by the end of 2021. Cloud-based services offer the security and improved user experience that your customer base will value when doing business with you.
Small businesses benefit from adopting cloud-based software tools because they offer greater security, reliable performance, cost savings, and better flexibility. The more efficient your internal operations become, the better you will serve your customers. These are the top cloud-based services for businesses that we recommend:
Cloud-Based File Storage and File Sharing
Storing files on hard drives is more expensive and makes them vulnerable to security threats and data loss. Secure file storage and file sharing are critical for your daily operations:
Microsoft 365 OneDrive
OneDrive is Microsoft’s premium cloud-based file storage tool. With automatic sync and backup for version control and to secure your files, OneDrive allows you to easily collaborate with your team in real-time. Its intuitive file sharing interface makes it easy to share different file types within your business and with your customers.
OneDrive not only gives you access to cloud storage, but you can also enjoy the entire suite of Office 365 apps with a M365 Business Professional subscription. If your company already uses the Windows 10 operating system, then OneDrive is already embedded, making your file storage convenient. If you don’t have Windows 10, you can download the OneDrive application easily.
Pro-Tip: Don’t miss out on the upcoming Windows 11 release. Here’s How to Check Your TPM (a requirement for the upcoming OS release).
Microsoft 365 SharePoint
Integrated with OneDrive, Microsoft 365 SharePoint allows you to create intranet sites, pages, and document collections for file storage and file sharing. The application allows your teams to sync and manage their workflows, forms, lists, and files for virtual collaboration, while delivering enterprise-grade security.
Investing in Microsoft 365 gives you access to a wide selection of cloud applications useful for various business functions. If your Managed Services Provider is also a Microsoft Partner, then you could access these high-performance apps at an affordable, fixed cost each month.
Email and Messaging Services
Email and messaging cloud applications are essential for seamless communication across teams and with your customers:
Microsoft Exchange Online
With Microsoft Exchange Online (also sold as part of most Microsoft 365 plans), you can work efficiently with email, calendar, contacts, and tasks together all in one place. Microsoft Outlook also eases communication with employees and customers by integrating with other cloud applications such as Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, and more for better collaboration and greater productivity.
Slack streamlines communication among your employees. It offers a much faster response time than email while supporting asynchronous messaging. Slack allows you to organize communications by specific channels such as project, team, topic, or other criteria.
Video Conferencing Solutions
Video conferencing tools are in demand with our greater reliance on working from home and remote work. Some of these software-as-a-service options are:
Microsoft Teams has chat, calls, and video conferencing capabilities. Teams of varying sizes from two up to 10,000 can quickly meet. The seamless integration with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many other apps, allows for easy collaboration during virtual meetings.
Zoom has emerged as another popular video conferencing software-as-a-service tool. It is suitable for group calls of varying audience sizes. Zoom also facilitates file sharing via URLs and collaboration with its screen sharing capability.
A good project management cloud-based software allows your teams to exceed their goals and close projects on time. Some great examples include:
Asana is one of the leading cloud applications that helps your employees efficiently organize and track their project communications in real-time. It also allows sharing of calendars, workflows, and goals so that everyone can stay on progress within each timeline and achieve the milestones.
Monday is among the popular project management cloud-based software that helps businesses manage tasks and teams to reach milestones. This software-as-a-service is versatile, as it contains several collaboration tools, timeline and calendar views, time-tracking capability, plus many integrations. Some of these integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. Monday is easy to scale, feature-rich and comes with an affordable price tag.
Your Managed Services Provider
Net Friends is a premium Managed IT Services Provider and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. We offer NetVisor, a comprehensive suite of business IT services at a fixed, predictable, and budget-friendly, month-to-month price. We are also happy to help you incorporate Microsoft 365 or other cloud services into your business operations. Contact us today for more information.