The impact of the cloud on business operations is no secret. Everywhere you look, there are reverberations. But, as a business, how do you know which cloud tools to invest in and which ones are a waste of your resources?
Six Tools Worth the Investment
These days, there’s a cloud tool for any need or pain point. The trick is to do your due diligence and separate the pretenders from the contenders. Here are a few recommended cloud tools to start with:
Do you need a video conferencing tool? There are few options with better features than ClickMeeting. It comes with a 30-day risk-free trial, a variety of price plans for every budget, and unique collaboration tools that allow you to host large meetings or private chats on your mobile app. It may not be as powerful as some of the more expensive tools, but it’s generally more than adequate for the majority of businesses.
Every business needs a help desk, but few can afford the high cost. Thankfully, cloud tools like FreshService have made it affordable by offering automated helpdesk software that provides value without the need for superfluous bells and whistles. One of the best things about FreshService is that you can actually access a free plan (not trial) with no payment information required. If you like the free plan, you can then upgrade to a paid plan with additional features.
Email marketing plays an important role in any business with a digital presence. The issue is that storing data and accessing the sort of modern features that are necessary to remain competitive in today’s market can be expensive. Meet MailChimp - this cost-effective cloud tool lets you manage your email marketing campaigns over the cloud, which enhances security and mitigates your need for additional server space.
The vast majority of business phone systems are outdated. They feel like something from the pre-cell phone age and don’t offer much room for customization. This is where Dialpad does something different. This next generation cloud phone system lets you connect with people inside and outside of your organization via your cell phone, computer, or other devices. It’s both cost-effective and intuitive.
If your business is looking to open up an e-commerce channel, then you’ll want to go with a cloud-based tool that’s reliable and well known. Shopify meets both of these criteria and offers powerful shopping cart features that can give you an online presence with very little online experience. There’s a free 30-day trial available, along with paid plans on a tiered basis.
Device-specific storage is becoming dangerous and impractical in today’s business world. There’s too much risk associated with not backing files up or having access to data regardless of location. This is why thousands of businesses are turning to OpenDrive, a cloud-based storage and office suite that lets you access your files anywhere at anytime. Made for storing, syncing, and sharing files, OpenDrive can also double as a project management tool. A personal plan (up to 5GB of storage) is free, while paid options exist for larger business needs.
Put the Cloud to Work for You
If your business isn’t familiar with the cloud and is accustomed to using standalone desktop software, then it makes sense that you’re a little hesitant to branch out and invest in cloud tools. And while you may initially be uncomfortable with the idea of using the cloud, all it will take is a few short weeks for you to see what everyone else is talking about. Put the cloud to work by investing in the right tools for your needs. This list is just a starting point.