There is no “one right way” to use cloud solutions for your business. Some organizations are content with just storing data backups on the cloud. Others rely on complex databases, such as cloud customer relationship management (CRM) networks or collaborative document sharing systems. These solutions should be able to scale to your company’s size, and then grow with the needs of your business. Before committing to a cloud service, make sure to work with your leadership teams to pinpoint department needs, create processes, and establish periodic maintenance – steps that can help you succeed with cloud communications.
Create a Workflow
One of the main benefits of a cloud system is sharing potential. A group can edit and store information, which can then be accessed by authorized users from anywhere in the world. Most cloud systems have a secure web portal, which allows both office workers and telecommuters to log in. With so many people logging into a cloud system, it’s likely that everyone will bring diverse ideas about organization to the table. You might discover that folders are stored in counter-intuitive locations, or that employees are forgetting to leave follow-up notes after speaking to a customer.
Many incongruences and teamwork issues can be resolved with a clear workflow. Build training materials around tasks that require some degree of repetition and standardization. Train your employees on workflows with videos or step-by-step documents. Employees using a new cloud system should have a list of support contacts, in case they have questions or run into issues.
Use Style Guides
A style guide can be critical in any type of collaborative work environment. Style guides achieve similar goals to workflows – they help standardize work quality and lower the chance of redundant errors. For example, imagine if several employees are using different telephone number formats when they enter customer contact information into a cloud database. This can lead to massive data scrubbing projects in the future. You can easily lose time and money fixing poorly formatted data, when the issue could have been prevented with a style guide.
Remember that costly data scrubbing scenario mentioned earlier? Well, you can take proactive measure to reduce cloud data disasters by scheduling regular maintenance. Keep an eye out for mismanaged files, broken links, incomplete forms, inappropriate communications, and other red flags on your cloud service.
From a security standpoint, it is important for IT professionals check your cloud system periodically, to ensure that your company is complying with current security updates and procedures. If your business uses in-house mobile devices or employee-owned devices, you might also wish to install security provision profiles with mobile device management (MDM) software, such as JAMF or Zenprise. This can prevent unauthorized users from accessing your cloud data, especially in the event of mobile device theft or loss.
Many unified communications (UC) systems can be tied in with cloud storage, giving an organization ultimate collaborative control over its work. For example, UC networks allow you to host a video conference call between people in several locations. During the meeting, you can all access and spreadsheet and make changes to it in real-time, while calls to your business-phone-number are routed to your colleague’s mobile phone. Files stored on the cloud can then be shared with authorized company contacts via text message or email. UC systems integrate data from your cloud storage with your secure business communications.
Cloud systems can be used at nearly any level of business, helping you streamline business communications, collaboration, and internal data sharing. It also provides a secure and stable platform that can be accessed from anywhere – so that your team isn’t tied down by traditional location boundaries.
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