How the cloud can help you streamline business processes
12th July 2017
As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. To get your team working productively, and doing the job to the best of their ability. But they can only work with the tools that they are given.
Investing in IT might not seem one of the most obvious ways to get your team working better, but it is an option that is often overlooked, as it seems like it might be an expensive outlay for not necessarily the best returns.
But there is an answer which doesn’t involve lots of cables, expensive IT servers or software which you have to shell out for various upgrades and updates each year.
Yep, you’ve guessed it! It’s the cloud again! (Is there anything that the cloud can’t do?)
The key to shifting all your systems to cloud based services is that there is no reliance on all of the above. That’s what hosted office companies such as us have to deal with. Why would you want all that cluttering up your office?
Plus, in today’s society, businesses don’t necessarily have to be based in one location. For example, our staff could be working on the train, in a motorway service station, or even from their kitchen table.
So you need something that works for your staff wherever they are. That alone will help to increase productivity. Think about it, your staff member is out at a meeting which takes them about 2-3 hours to get to. They can work on the train there and on the way back. That’s 6 hours saved, right there. They can be answering emails, accessing documents and feeding back amends to other team members. Just as if they are in the office. The cloud works particularly well for a mobile workforce.
But it’s not just about accessibility. It’s about integration. Working smarter means that your documents and software all talk to one another. So for example, if you raise an invoice, you may have to then go into your cash flow document to update projections, or if you receive a payment into your bank account, you have to update your figures. But what if changing one figure updated all the rest of the documents it needed to? Boom. Saves you time, right? Plus if you as the owner are the only person to have access to the bank account, you don’t want to have to be relied on to pull out the figures so your accounts department can do what they need to do. That’s just daft. You can control who has access to what, and when, so that this can all be happening in the background without you even knowing about it. Or having to think about it.
Leaving you to concentrate on the important things. Like arranging the staff Christmas party. Ok, yes, business strategy.
The cloud also brings your team together. If you have a team who are dotted about, in and out of meetings, then you still need a way to get together, update each other, and chat through ideas, etc. Yes, project based management software can do this, but you just can’t beat an old fashioned face-to-face. Except, that doesn’t mean you have to be in the same room.
Having a system whereby you can loop people into video calls, some in via audio if needed (they might not have done their hair that day) can ensure that the team is on the same page, and working together efficiently. Of course, the cloud can do that too. It’s real time and reduces the need for back and forth email communications.
Finally, the cloud loves nothing more than a bit of data. How much time does your company spend producing reports for clients, or inputting data gathered from business meetings, networking, etc.?
The cloud can take all the data you have, and churn it back out to you in a way that is useful to you, your customers and stakeholders. So whether that is a weekly report back to managers, or segmenting your customer database to ensure each person gets the most relevant communication for them, the cloud will handle that for you. So not only will it save manual input time, or time spent creating pretty graphs and pie charts, it will also mean you can easily interpret huge chunks of data easily, and in such a way that it can help you make informed business decisions.
So there you have it. It’s pretty cool, huh? The best thing about it, is because it is hosted in the cloud, it’s ridiculously easy to set up, and works on all devices, wherever you are (with an internet connection that is). And it’s probably not as expensive as you might think.
The Host My Office team are a bit passionate about the cloud as you might imagine, and we’re so keen for businesses to try it out, as we can see how it revolutionises the way they operate. So we’re offering a free 30 day trial. (You see, it’s that easy to set up, that we can install it and take it away again after a month, in a flash!) So why not give it a go? What have you got to lose? Only time, if you keep doing things the way you always have done.