If you are a business owner, chances are you already learned How to run a Business in the Cloud and have several web services and tools assisting you with the day-to-day operation of your organization.
Businesses today rely heavily on cloud services and web-based tools for different purposes.
In fact, the majority of businesses have more than 70% of their operations running in the cloud.
There is nothing wrong with using multiple tools for different purposes.
After all, services like Salesforce and Zapier serve different functions.
They offer specific sets of tools for different processes within the business.
Still, you can take business operations to the next level with a few simple tweaks, and we are going to discuss those tweaks in this article.
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Seek Automation Opportunities
One of the reasons why cloud solutions are empowering businesses to do more is automation.
Automation lets you eliminate mundane, repetitive tasks by turning them into automation routines and simple scripts.
Most web solutions for business users support automation; some even offer it as features.
Simply relying on the available automation options, however, is not enough.
You need to actively seek tasks that can be automated. Sometimes, automating means using a third-party service like Zapier.
Services like Zapier lets you integrate actions on multiple platforms into one seamless workflow.
For example, you can automate the creation of new Kanban cards whenever a new lead is captured on TypeForm.
This may seem like a simple task to do manually, but creating cards for a lot of leads every day can be time-consuming.
That time is better spent focusing on more important things such as the sales funnel.
Use One Platform
Despite the wide variety of web solutions that can now be added to business processes, it is still necessary to have at least one platform or solution that the entire organization can use.
For example, you can use a Kanban system to support project management function across the company.
The use of a Kanban board is suitable for teams who want to implement Agile methods.
At the same time, the same Kanban board can be customized for marketing, finance, and general project management purposes.
Maintaining cross-department alignment becomes easy when all projects are managed using the same tool.
With tools like Kanbanize, you have a lot more options and features to play with.
You can, for instance, create different boards – with different workflows and details – for different departments.
Each department can invite PICs or team members from other departments to specific cards too.
After finding one platform that everyone can use, it is time to continue with the next tip: integrate.
Thankfully, modern business solutions that are now running in the cloud are designed to work well with each other.
Salesforce, for instance, can work with marketing automation tools like MailChimp.
Integrating multiple solutions also help different departments work together in a more seamless way.
Rather than manually filing requests for invoices or purchases, the process can be integrated when the CRM solution and accounting suite can connect to each other directly.
Integration also means more automation opportunities.
You get the best of both worlds.
On one hand, you benefit from the specific features offered by tools tailored for specific functions.
On the other, you can still streamline different workflows within the organization for more efficient operation.
Don’t Forget Data Security
The drive to move as many parts of the business to the cloud as possible must never be higher than your attention to data security.
Even with the best solutions on the market, business information security must still be a concern, a concern that should be addressed directly.
We are so used to sharing files using Google Drive or uploading business pitch decks to Google Slides that we often forget to manage the security aspect of using such services. When data security isn’t a priority, a lot of things can go wrong.
A simple mistake of making an accounting or HR file available to all employees can turn into a disaster in a lean organization.
It is even worse if the files related to your business can be accessed with nothing more than a URL.
Additional security layers are also required.
Encrypting files before they are uploaded to the cloud is always a good idea.
At the very least, files that are stolen cannot be opened or accessed without a suitable encryption key.
The same is true with protecting files while they are stored offline.
A Backup Routine as a Necessity
Cloud computing is designed to be robust and reliable.
It relies on a cluster of servers instead of a physical server in your office.
There are multiple redundancies protecting the web services you use, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need your own backup routine.
It is still necessary to maintain multiple backups of mission-critical data.
Having an offline backup of the information you store in the cloud is a good start.
With an offline backup, you can always access your data in the event of a catastrophic failure.
Backing up cloud files to other cloud services is also highly recommended since cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery is usually faster and easier to manage.
The most important element of them all, however, is setting up a routine for backing up the files and information you store in the cloud.
Incremental backups need to be created and kept up to date through regularly scheduled backup operations.
Having an up-to-date backup image is how you ensure the wellbeing of your business information.
Choosing Cloud Services
With the tips and tricks that we covered in this article, you can use cloud services to support your business operations and streamline different workflows across the organization.
If there is one more thing to emphasis, it’s the importance of choosing the right cloud services to use.
There are a lot of tools and services to choose from and the wealth of option could lead to a more difficult selection process.
Stick to the tools and services that you can fully utilize, make sure they are easy to integrate.
That’s How to run a Business in the Cloud.