How your business can efficiently use cloud based applications

Your virtual office

Making the most of the cloud applications that have become available means moving your business to a more flexible and virtual organisation. Small businesses are becoming cloud businesses, as they can see the advantages that hosted applications offer them.

The key to making the most from cloud applications is to understand that the 'desktop' as your business understands it becomes a flexible and customisable online space your business can modify to its precise needs.

Creating files in Google Docs for instance doesn't require these to be saved as you would with a desktop application, as Google Docs automatically backs up every file created to its servers. You can download them to any device of course, but the power of hosted applications is their 'always available' approach to data management.

Google Docs unsurprisingly works best in the Chrome browser that has a number of additional features and extensions such as the ability to work offline.

Moving your business to Office 365 isn't complicated, but you do need to think carefully about which version of Office your business needs, and how your staff will access its features when they are online. Luckily, Microsoft offers the Office 365 Adoption Kit which contains all the information your business needs to get set up and productive in no time.

Businesses that have been using the Adobe tools including InDesign and Photoshop have a slightly different approach to their hosted applications. Your business still needs to download and install each program's app, but files created with these apps can be stored in the cloud for access anywhere at anytime.

Embracing cloud-based applications is a powerful way to accelerate your business. Mixing desktop programs and online apps is how many enterprises are currently managing the office services they need to run their companies.

What is clear, however, is that more cloud-based applications will develop to deliver the opportunity to create a completely virtual office.