The cloud has become a driving force behind digital transformation, with 94 percent of all organizations now relying on cloud solutions. However, cloud adoption has proven more difficult for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which report that they have neither the expertise nor resources to maximize their use of cloud services. Fortunately, there is a vast library of cloud tools available to these organizations, spanning every area from business intelligence to data storage. Resources such as these make the cloud more accessible to SMBs and allow them to take advantage of all the benefits that it has to offer.
Here is a look at a few of the best cloud tools available to SMBs today:
Miro facilitates an unprecedented level of collaboration among SMB teams. The solution provides users with a vast online canvas that all members of a business team can access and edit. Within this platform, each user can see who is actively using their boards and follow changes in real time.
SMBs have complete freedom to create their own canvas or to use one of Miro’s numerous templates. With additional tools such as smart drawing and sticky notes, teams can easily collaborate on ideas and flesh them out together. They can even integrate workflows from more than 20 different platforms.
Since it is available through the cloud, SMB teams can connect to Miro from anywhere in the world. Whether they have team members living in different time zones or working through different online channels, businesses can streamline product development, key projects, and much more.
Dropbox has become a household name among those looking for scalable cloud storage. The platform has since expanded beyond individual users and focused more on businesses. SMBs that need reliable online storage can use Dropbox Business to create a centralized location for all of their most important files.
Depending on their storage needs, SMBs can choose from one of Dropbox Business’ service plans. With a Standard account, these organizations receive three terabytes of space and file recovery spanning a 120-day period. Those who want more storage space can upgrade to the Advanced plan, which places no limit on how many files they may house in the cloud.
Dropbox Business offers admins the ability to view their teams’ file folders, which enables them to follow the activity of each user and determine which files can be shared and with whom. Should a device become compromised or lost, they can quickly erase any of their organization’s Dropbox files from that device.
Businesses can no longer afford to go without a social media presence, no matter what their size. For SMBs, however, launching social media campaigns are crucial to expanding both their audience and their brand.
Buffer is a cloud tool that helps SMBs to achieve this goal. The platform serves as an outlet through which businesses can develop content for all of their social networking accounts at once. Through Buffer, entire teams can work together to draft posts that align with their current marketing campaigns. As they line up content for each account, they can schedule their posts to go live automatically.
Buffer’s free plan enables SMBs to manage up to three social accounts at once. As their brand grows, they can upgrade their plan to include more scheduled posts and accounts.
SMBs looking to streamline human resource management should consider deploying Deputy, a platform that makes staff management less of a hassle for business owners. This cloud-based HR tool is designed for use in nearly any industry, ranging from government to retail, and is capable of integrating with more than 35 other solutions.
In lieu of confusing spreadsheets, Deputy uses a combination of agile features to help business owners to design team schedules and monitor their timesheets with ease. When building schedules, users can select employees based on factors such as level of experience or salary. They can also enable Deputy to automatically fill shifts to meet their criteria or simply reuse earlier schedules.
As employees go about their work, Deputy can alert them to their current assignments and other daily tasks so that they never miss a thing. SMB owners can even communicate with their team members directly through the platform’s Newsfeed feature, which is designed to keep everyone in the loop.
Crucially, Deputy eliminates the need for physical timesheets by integrating a digital time-clock tool. This allows employees to punch in and out for their shifts directly from their smartphones and enables business owners to monitor the attendance of every team member.
Business intelligence (BI) is a crucial facet of any company, allowing those in charge to access data insights that they can use to move their business forward. In the past, BI has been all but inaccessible to SMBs because of its hefty price tag. However, cloud-based platforms such as Sisense are opening up the world of BI to these organizations by making them more affordable than ever before.
Through partnerships with such entities as Amazon Web Services, Sisense has developed a single-stack BI platform that makes it easier for SMBs to harness and process data at the drop of a hat. Depending on their needs, users can choose to deploy it in-house, in the cloud, or in both environments. Through In-Chip technology and machine learning, Sisense helps SMBs to leverage their data to make better business decisions.