Using cloud storage is one of the easiest ways to create a dynamic and cooperative work environment. Unlike traditional storage devices, such as flash drives, external hard drives or the hard drives within computers, secure cloud storage can be accessed by employees without having to be connected to a network or having to sit at the computer on which the files are saved. Information on the cloud is both stored and accessed remotely.
There are numerous cloud storage providers that have become remarkably successful — click here for a comprehensive list. This is because a myriad of smaller companies are beginning to store much of their information on the cloud. Cloud storage is not just a trend, but is an ideal service for small businesses since it does not require email servers, a storage system or a costly network infrastructure for retrieving files. Most importantly of all, cloud storage increases employees’ ability to collaborate on projects. Here are five reasons why.
1. Better organization
Cloud storage keeps projects in one location. Employees can work together on them without having to attach an evolving document to a series of links in a massive email chain that can very quickly become difficult to manage. This not only leads to a more organized team, but one that is encouraged to work together due to the ease of accessing the project from the cloud.
2. More participation
By keeping all of your projects in one location to which all of your employees have access, even individuals who may not be working on a specific project can easily take a peek at it. If someone is having a bit of a mental block with something, another employee can take a look at the project and offer input without having to wait for an email – they can just access the document from the cloud.
3. Easier access to large files
Most email servers cannot send an attachment that is more than around 8 MB. Consequently, if your company deals with extremely large video or audio files, it can be very difficult to send them out to people who are not in the office without resorting to shipping a disc with the information saved on to it. Such delays can be more than just infuriating — they can lead to very dissatisfied clients. With cloud storage, there is no delay. Anyone working on the project can access the file or folder containing the information so long as they have an Internet connection. You can even use cloud storage to send these large documents to clients, which we cover in a previous post here.
4. Notifications in real time
When using cloud storage, a team can work a single project without having to be in the same room, let alone the same country. However, it is not just the cloud’s accessibility that makes it so important, but the fact the edits and updates to a project appear in real time. Instead of having five people emailing an evolving document back and forth to each other, the five are always looking at the same document on the cloud. No one will have to ask which version the team is supposed to be looking over ever again.
Using cloud storage doesn’t have to be entirely about work. You can use the cloud to set up a place where employees can share videos, photos and documents. It could also be used as a kind of virtual water cooler. While such a forum may lend itself to some zaniness, it’s also possible the next big idea for your company may come from a few of your employees bouncing seemingly irrelevant ideas off one another within the cloud.
Has cloud storage increased collaboration in your business? Tell us how in the comments.