If you’re like many people out there, there will have been times in your life when you have got home from work, tired, irritable and hungry after a long day. These are not the evenings when you decide to cook a full roast-dinner with all the trimmings. No, beans on toast is a more likely choice – it’s tasty, takes five minutes and fills you up. Job done, and with minimal washing up required. Sometimes simple is better.
And this is just as true when it comes to business. Whatever your organisation does or offers, it will be more successful if your team can get more things done in less time and dedicate their skills and expertise to meeting your company’s core goals. It is the end result that matters.
And this is where IT is supposed to help. Our computers are merely tools to simplify our jobs, and generally they work very well. But when your staff is spending more time reading the user’s guide or googling information on intricate spreadsheets, then your IT is holding you back. Your expensive IT should improve how you work not hinder you, which is why simplifying your work processes should be a priority.
And it’s this simplicity which is behind the success of Google Apps for Business. It is true that Office 365 has the edge in terms of people’s familiarity with applications such as Office or PowerPoint, but Google is winning fans as it offers many of the same tools but is intuitively easy to use.
So let’s take a look at a few ways Google Apps is making things simpler for small businesses seeking cloud solutions.
Get a lot more done with fewer costs
Most businesses don’t really need applications with all the bells and whistles. Remember, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet with a quill and some scrap paper. A complex system costs more and in many cases you won’t ever use all of its features. Unless your company makes use of specialist software for your industry, chances are that most of your staff just need access to email, a calendar system and somewhere to create documents and store files. If you are making a lot of calls to clients and need instant communication, a video conferencing and messaging service can be of use too. Well, all of these applications come with a basic Google Apps for Work set up. These applications are generally intuitive and all you need is basic training, so new staff members can get up to speed fast. What’s more, you can easily add users as your company grows.
Enjoy more collaboration and mobility
If you work, or have worked in a pre-cloud office set up, you’ll know what a pain it can be swapping files with other people and getting feedback. You send your new document to a colleague, they save it as a new file and edit it before sending it on someone else, who makes a copy, and adds their thoughts before sending it on etc.. This way of working is complicated and time-consuming. But with cloud computing and Google Apps, your whole team can all be on the same page, and make edits collaboratively in real time, be it on a document, spreadsheet or presentation. You can even work with people who are not in the office, or even in the same country. When a team is working on the same document in real time, everyone always has the latest version, with changes clearly marked. This saves a lot of messing around with email attachments and merging documents. You can also discuss ideas and talk face-to-face in a video call with Google Hangouts. This collaborative nature of cloud computing has really changed the way companies work, by simplifying the creative and work processes and allowing mobile workers and clients to chip in when they want.
Experience less downtime
If your team is forced to sit around when the systems have gone down (yet again), then your office IT is slowing them down rather than improving efficiency. Regular system reboots and upgrades cut into productive time. Your staff’s time are your most important asset, so when they are spending more time using their skills and aren’t waiting for their IT to work, the more value you are getting from them.
The beauty of cloud platforms such as Google Apps is that all upgrades happen automatically. And Google boasts an uptime of nearly 100% – just think, when was the last time you remember Google’s search engine not being there when you needed to look something up? Because all of the infrastructure is hosted in multiple secure data centres, there is less risk of downtime if a local crisis such as flood or fire hits, as your data and dashboards are all backed up.
Less hardware to take care of
The more equipment you have in the office means more things that can go wrong, not to mention bigger electricity bills. But with the cloud you don’t require so many pieces of tech or energy-hungry servers. The internet’s processing power takes care of many of your applications and you don’t have to pay for servicing and repairs for in-house technology. And because your computers only need to be able to power up, run the operating system and access the internet, it is easier to keep them clear of clutter and programs that make them run more slowly.
Enjoy simple centralised control
Cloud computing as offered by Google Apps allows you, as a business owner to track files, manage and oversee document sharing and add users in a centralised manner – this makes the everyday running of your IT easier to carry out than ever. You can also view dashboards that give feedback on how your users are using Google Apps so you can target your assistance and training to help them become even more productive.
The cloud brings so much more to a company than its technology. Most of the benefits come through the way it simplifies that tech and makes it easy for people to use, so efficiency and productivity is greatly enhanced. It is this simplification of technology that Google Apps for Work does so well, making it a great cloud solution.
Want to know more about how Google Apps can boost your business? Why not talk to the team at Damson Cloud and we can give you the lowdown on the latest applications.