One thing that I’ve heard a lot of people talk about but not really understand is having things “in the cloud”.
What is “in the cloud” exactly?
Having something in the cloud is just another way to say cloud computing; in other words storing things online instead of on your own computer. These things can include data (such as photos, contacts, etc.) or programs (online systems such as Xero, CRMs, etc.).
In most instances, the cloud is just a fancy way of saying internet!
However, there are sometimes in big business where it can mean something else, but I’m focusing on small business.
Why is being “in the cloud” worthwhile?
For me, most of my business is done using things that are in the cloud; that means that the more my clients use the cloud, the more solutions I can offer without leaving my home.
But for others, why would being “in the cloud” be worthwhile?
Ease (and availability) of access is the prime reason that being in the cloud is worthwhile! Especially for small business owners who tend to overview everything within the business.
Being able to log on to a system from anywhere in the world means that you can continue to keep an eye on things without physically having to be in the office. Great for when business trips come up!
What kind of things can be done “in the cloud”?
Firstly, it’s more like what can’t be done in the cloud!
In day to day business there are so many things that can be done in the cloud. Create, send and view invoices, banking, emails, ordering, scheduling meetings and interviews, store contacts and communications with them, send someone a project to work on, track time and cost of projects, and so much more!
Secondly, it’s a great way to store important documents that you might need at a later stage unexpectedly.
For example, when my partner and I travel, we have stored in a secure online wallet copies of our itinerary, tickets, passports and other identification etc. as a precaution for if we lose things or have things stolen from us. That way if we need to report anything to the various companies/consulate then we know we have the required information at our fingertips to ensure that the right things are reported.
It can also help when meeting up with a client who asks where their project is at; being able to pull up details about it within seconds about exactly where the project is sitting can really set expectations.
So if you are feeling confused when people throw the term around, don’t stress! It’s not really a new way of thinking; it’s just a newer term for something you’ve probably been doing for a while without really knowing it.