Computers, laptops, the internet—these concepts have indeed changed how people do everything these days. From performing research to consuming media to maintaining relationships, it seems impossible for consumers and businesses to survive without laptops in this digital era. Many businesses provide laptops for their employees to make them more efficient at work, and laptops are useful tools for researching information, processing data, and even connecting to people all over the world.
Today, the world is abuzz over cloud computing, which uses virtual servers accessible through the Internet on demand. Cloud services are quickly becoming more efficient, scalable and inexpensive for businesses to manage their data, websites, and applications. With cloud computing,entrepreneurs are discovering that they can get a business up and running easily without the need to purchase servers or employ a CIO. Just like any utility bill, computing can be a monthly service that is delivered at a fee.
But nothing in this world is perfect. There are some famous outages and mishaps in the past few years which server as a good reminder that outsourcing information to the cloud database does come with a risk. Companies like Dropbox and Microsoft have had cloud problems, and through these events rarely happen, organizations should analyze their plan before even migrating their IT assets to the cloud. Small businesses can make use of many helpful cloud solutions, but nothing is 100% reliable. You need to be smart about such actions and have a contingency plan for IT disasters. Here are a few trustworthy and reliable options to help your business slowly move into the cloud.
Microsoft Office Live
Since businesses create a lot of documents, presentations, and spreadsheets, you probably use Microsoft Office all the time. A lot of web alternatives still can’t come close to matching the features of Microsoft Office suite. The company’s Live Workspace services conveniently works with Excel, PowerPoint and Word. It aims to diminish your need for carrying around a hard drive by letting you save files on the Workspace website. If you wish to view a certain file from any device or share it with people in your workspace, all you need to do is save it the Live Workspace. The files are being stored at Microsoft’s servers, but users are able to access, edit, and save them with desktop and laptop apps.
If you still opt for Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) over Live Workspace, there are a few tools that can help you sync Office apps with Google Drive. Memeo Connect lets you sync documents between Google Drive and your laptop or desktop. If you perform a lot of collaboration, you might want to try OffiSync. It offers the same sync features as that of the Memeo, but with more collaboration options.
Calendars and Contacts in the Cloud
Your contacts are considered the lifeblood of your business, and you need to ensure that they are always backed up, accessible anytime and at anywhere. If you decide to invest on the Google Apps Premier Edition, you get access to Google Apps Sync for Outlook, a handy tool that conveniently syncs your contacts between Google Contacts and Microsoft Outlook.
A desktop calendar is a handy tool for scheduling appointments, event reminders, and keeping your life in order—that is, if you are in front of your computer. Sync your calendar to the cloud with Google Calendar Sync plugin for Outlook. When you have it installed, your calendar seamlessly synchronizes data between your desktop calendar and Google Docs.