Most businesses rely on cloud-based services for email and web hosting now, whether they realize it or not. Your company may also benefit from moving even more of its files and tasks to the cloud, due to the savings and convenience it provides. To benefit most from the cloud services you choose, carefully consider your needs and what each service offers. Mapping one to the other will help you make the right decisions.
The following lists will help you to identify the cloud service features that are most important to your business and leave you better equipped to make an informed choice.
1. Back up and store your data in the cloud
Cloud-based backup services can eliminate the need for manual backups and save time for your company. If you are considering the cloud for online PC or Mac® data backup and storage, look for a service that:
- Automatically and continuously backs up data with little or no downtime
- Allows you to access and view files from most Web-connected and mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Provides unlimited storage.
- Immediately restores lost data.
- Saves your company money on in-house servers and IT support.
- Includes search features to help you locate files quickly and easily.
- Uses advanced encryption and other security safeguards.
- Offers support for PC and Mac.
- Retains older versions of backed-up data.
- Provides 24/7 U.S.-based customer support for backup-specific issues.
2. Use cloud-based email
Cloud-based email can provide businesses with task management and mobile synchronization capabilities. If you are considering a cloud-based email service, look for one that:
- Is fast and reliable
- Permits you to use your company’s domain name
- Allows email to be accessed from almost anywhere and on just about any device.
- Provides features for easier collaboration, such as calendar and contact sharing.
- Filters for malware and spam
- Syncs calendar and contacts with mobile devices
- Supports all major email protocols
- Updates functionality regularly and automatically.
3. Host your website in the cloud
Cloud-based website solutions include Web hosting, eCommerce, and mobile website creation and support. If you are considering the cloud for your website solutions, look for a service that:
- Cloud-based website solutions include Web hosting, eCommerce, and mobile website creation and support. If you are considering the cloud for your website solutions, look for a service that:
- Provides easy-to-use website design tools, including site templates.
- Offers services from professional designers.
- Permits easy updating of sites.
- Includes built-in analytics tools to monitor site traffic.
- Provides eCommerce website design and 24/7 store management tools.
- Offers mobile website design and support.
- Experiences little or no downtime.
4. Share files and improve collaboration
The cloud can help facilitate collaboration through file sharing, online conferencing, and other capabilities. If you are considering sharing files or collaborating in the cloud, look for a service that:
- The cloud can help facilitate collaboration through file sharing, online conferencing, and other capabilities. If you are considering sharing files or collaborating in the cloud, look for a service that:
- Permits mobile access to files so employees can collaborate from any location.
- Integrates voice, Internet, and video communication.
- Enables team members to share files using Web links, eliminating the need to send large files using email.
- Supports the desktop applications used by your company.
- Syncs easily with laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
- Allows users to arrange virtual meetings and videoconferences on the fly.
- Allows employees in different locations to create, share, and work on documents together in real time.
- Protects documents with the latest encryption and other security features.
5. Increase your computing power
The cloud provides businesses a cost-effective way to handle spikes in demand (such as temporary traffic increases to an online retail site during the holiday season) and to build and test applications without the need for in-house servers. If you are considering using the cloud for additional computing power, look for a service that:
- Scales automatically with your business.
- Reduces your costs for servers and IT support.
- Can handle spikes in usage.
- Supports software to meet business requirements, such as virtualization or database software.
- Charges only for the resources you use.
- Provides the security needed to support compliance requirements.
- Guarantees minimal or no downtime.
- Offers 24/7 tech support.
Simplicity VoIP can help you navigate your choices and find the best cloud solutions for your business.
Written by AT&T Business Circle Contributor