“The cloud” and “cloud computing” are two increasingly popular buzzwords in the tech world.
Cloud computing refers to documents, resources and applications that any device with an Internet connection can access. For example, you can log on to Photoshop.com and use a basic photo editor on the website. The act of uploading your photos and editing online is cloud computing.
Accessing your email online with a service like Gmail or MSN is also an example of cloud computing.
Curious about what cloud computing solutions are available that could be beneficial to your business? The following are five popular tools for small businesses to begin using the cloud:
1. Skype: Skype isn’t just for chatting with long-distance friends. It’s a low-cost solution for conference calls and video meetings.
2. Dropbox: Dropbox acts as a shared server for a small staff, allowing users to store, share and download files from one online location.
3. Google Docs: This is free; is compatible with Microsoft Office docs; and allows users to upload documents, presentations, or spreadsheets, or create and share new ones.
4. Bill.com: This is an online invoicing and accounts payable service that automates basic payment processes. It isn’t free, but it makes sense for businesses that don’t require a full accounts payable department.
5. Basecamp: This is an easy-to-use collaboration and project management tool. Users can share files, set deadlines on calendars, create templates, develop to-do lists and more.