It’s true that with an internet connection and an internet enabled device, you can have the freedom to work from anywhere, from your kitchen table to a tropical beach. What is also a cost effective advantage to many companies is that your workforce can share the same freedom. Your business can escape from expensive premises and all the associated cost of being under one roof. This is just one of the many benefits that today’s digital technologies offer to businesses that are not location dependent.
How can this be achieved?
The answer is through careful planning, reliable internet connection and the use of Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS is the most common form of cloud computing used by small businesses, and involves using software hosted on remote servers. It provides you with access to use applications through your web browser. You can save, retrieve and share files that are stored in the cloud. You can even create your own virtual office space.
Web-based email, office software, CRM systems, payroll systems, collaborative working tools, presentation tools and much more are available to use on the move. The scalability of your IT requirements is quick and easy to change, enabling you to respond to the changing needs of your business with less effort and cost than ever.
Here are some SaaS’s to consider.
Google+ - This is Google’s social media network, seen by many as a business tool as well as a social tool. It has a number of functions that are useful to businesses in addition to being a social network including Google ‘Hangouts’ where up to 7 people can be part of the same web chat on screen at the same time.
Microsoft 365 – This software gives you all the basic programmes in the way of creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations, as well as excellent communication functions included email and video conferencing.
Salesforce – This is a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) which can store all the information you want about your clients in the cloud, meaning you can access it at all times.
Skype - This popular programme can effectively turn yourcomputer into a phone; it enables you to call other Skype users, with or without video, for free. It also has a basic messenger function for quick messages that don’t require face to face time.
Box – This is a virtual file folder that you can access from your phone, tablet or PC. You can drag a file into Box, and then you are able to access it from anywhere.
MailChimp – This is an online service accessible anywhere, that enables businesses to design and send email marketing campaigns. The basic package is free, making it ideal for a start-up. You can then upgrade to affordable paid versions as you need it.
Mozy - This is an online service that continuously backs up the files on your computer. It gives you the security of knowing that all of your files are retrievable in case of a technology problem on the move where there is no IT help desk.
DropBox – In a similar way to Box, this is a virtual file folder, but you can give as many people access to your files as you like, making it ideal as a cloud central drive for your business.
The Digital Growth team at Business Growth Hub run masterclasses on the ways in which you can work anywhere in the world by using technology, as well as classes in the various specific kinds of SaaS’s. For more information take a look at our events page, or attend our weekly drop in #DigitalThursday, 12-2 every Thursday in the Manchester Central Library.