7 Major Benefits of Cloud Storage for Small Businesses

7 Major Benefits of Cloud Storage for Small Businesses

Over recent years, the world has seen a massive rise in the number of small businesses and startups. While this is a positive trend in many ways, it does bring its own set of challenges with it.

These days, almost every business is heavily dependent on technology and global connectivity. As a result data security, confidentiality and accessibility are some of the major challenges that small businesses are facing today. Effective use of data, in an increasingly connected business environment, has also become an important need. Fortunately, the rise in these challenges has given way to innovative solutions as well. As a result, services like cloud storage have become some of the most sought after business needs. Cloud storage services take away the burden of data management from their customers’ hard drives and places the data into secure, well-managed and highly connected storage devices.

Here are 7 major benefits of cloud storage for small businesses.

1. Foolproof Data Security 

As a small business, you do not have the luxury of investing thousands of pounds in securing your data. But you can still protect it with cloud storage services. Leading cloud storage companies take several security measures to ensure that your data remains perfectly safe. Here are a few of them:

  • All the data is maintained in your cloud storage in encrypted form that can only be accessed with a unique encryption Id.
  • Regular virus scans and security checks are run on your data to eradicate any potential threats.
  • Multiple security layers are implemented on your data to ensure that only you and your authorised users can gain access to the it.

 
2. Regular Data Backups 

One of the most common reasons for data losses, is the unavailability of a properly managed data backup system. By using a cloud storage service, you eliminate the need of managing backups of your data. Your local storage is directly connected with the cloud service where multiple backups of your data are created at different locations that are completely synced with each other. The moment you make any changes to your data, it is reflected in the backup storage as well.

3. Consistency and Reliability 

When not protected properly, access to your data can be affected in a number of ways including power failure, internet connectivity issues, natural disasters. Cloud storage services take all these threats away from your data and make it extremely reliable and consistently available for you. Your data is saved at multiple highly secured locations. So there’s no threat of any power failures or natural disasters to all of them at the same time.

4. Global Data Connectivity 

Many small businesses work with remote teams that need to access data from a centralised location. Cloud storage services give you the ability to grant access to as many users as possible anywhere in the world. You can also manage data rights for different users to ensure proper security. All the changes that are made to the data are completely synced together, giving you the most up to date version of your data. This, of course is a major advantage that you cannot get from your own storage device.

5. Enhanced Accessibility

Unlike local storage devices, cloud storage services can be accessed from anywhere in the world using a number of different devices. Apart from the regular PC, you can also directly access your cloud data with your smartphone and tablets. So unlike local storage, if you need to access a particular piece of data from your smartphone, you do not need to carry it with you all the time. You can simply access it whenever you need and delete it from your smartphone storage as soon as your need is fulfilled.

6. Reduced Infrastructure Cost

Managing a data backup system requires huge investments both in terms of man power and technology. Backup systems also demand additional energy costs as they need to run round the clock. However, by using a cloud storage service, you get rid of a number of infrastructure needs as well. You do not need to employ dedicated professionals to look after your data security and management. You also don’t need to spend extra money on computers and backup servers to store your data. All this can lead to substantial cost savings in the long run and add to the overall profitability of your business.

7. Environmentally Friendly Impact

A strong reason for using the modern cloud based storage services is the positive impact that they have on the environment. Many leading cloud storage companies intentionally employ environment friendly power generation methods for their storage units. Environment friendliness is one of their major considerations while making purchases for their infrastructure as well. Moreover, when you shift your local storage to a cloud service, you effectively save tons of energy that would’ve been consumed throughout the year. When you apply this scenario to hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of cloud storage clients, you can naturally understand the positive impact it will have on the overall environment through reduced power consumption and efficient energy usage.

 

Cloud storage has become an essential need of small businesses in today’s fast moving business environment. As a business owner, you should look to invest your energies on your most productive activities.

Why not consider making the transition from hard copy to electronic storage of documents, and let our cloud-based intelligent document management solution take care of your data. 

View our explainer video here…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBjh5Y9-zAA

Workflow Automation of Everyday Processes has become a Competitive Advantage

Workflow Automation of Everyday Processes has become a Competitive Advantage

The business value that can be realised from workflow automation is much more than higher efficiency, better time management, and an increased level of organisation.

The core competency of a company lies in how it operates and serves its customers relative to its competitors, and workflow lies at the heart of a company’s operations. Organisations are also looking to gain competitive advantage across the entire value chain, and the ability to effectively collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners anytime, from anywhere, is crucial.

Nowadays, little in business does not involve some sort of a process. But the increasingly global nature of business, with colleagues and customers working in offices and on mobile devices spread across the world, is driving an evolution in how business processes are automated and deployed across organisations. Technology is transforming the way people work. It’s one of the biggest influences on how people within a business connect, collaborate and communicate.

Workflow automation has the potential to help companies get ahead and stay ahead of their competitors by constantly improving everyday processes.

“It’s no longer just what you do that counts. It’s how you do what you do – and how quickly you can modify your business processes to take on new opportunities and challenges – that’s really important.”  Andy Mulholland, Jon Pyke, and Peter Fingar, “Enterprise Cloud Computing – A Strategy Guide For Business and Technology Leaders

Digitisation provides endless opportunities to create new value for an organisation’s products and services. But this value won’t be realised if you merely insert digital technologies into existing business processes, rather than rethinking the work that is the essence of the business process.

With Castle’s outsourced provision, we deliver a cost effective and streamlined solution to significantly improve your business process. Contact Us today for a free, no obligation appraisal of your current business process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBjh5Y9-zAA

Source: CMS Wire

Adobe launches Document Cloud with touch-enabled Acrobat DC

Adobe launches Document Cloud with touch-enabled Acrobat DC

Adobe already offers tailored cloud products for creative and marketing professionals, and on Tuesday it launched a like-minded initiative focused squarely on documents. Essentially a set of integrated services that use a consistent online profile and a personal document hub, Adobe Document Cloud is designed to address the waste and inefficiency associated with many of today’s document-based processes, the company said.

At the heart of the new product is Acrobat DC, a major update to Adobe’s longstanding family of PDF tools that features a new tool center and a new, touch-enabled interface. Users of Acrobat DC can easily convert any paper document into an editable digital one, Adobe said. They can also edit, export and reuse any PDF content across devices. Microsoft Office and SharePoint integration is included.

E-sign capabilities, meanwhile, are fully integrated into Document Cloud and included with every Acrobat DC subscription, allowing users to electronically sign and send any document from any device.

Also new from Adobe are two new mobile apps dubbed Acrobat Mobile and Fill and Sign, giving users the ability to create, edit, comment on and sign documents directly on their mobile phones and tablets. The cameras built into those devices, in fact, can be used as portable scanners to convert any paper document into a digital, editable file that can be sent for signature.

Finally, new document management and control services help users manage, track and control their documents. Intelligent tracking, for instance, offers insight as to where critical documents are in the process, including who has opened them and when. Control features help protect sensitive information both inside and outside the firewall.

Source: www.computerworld.com

Why not make the transition from hard copy to electronic storage of documents? It’s easier than you think, click on the link… 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBjh5Y9-zAA

Reduce costs and improve efficiency with Mailroom Outsourcing…

Reduce costs and improve efficiency with Mailroom Outsourcing…

The mailroom is responsible for managing your most valuable documents and sensitive information. Outsourced mailroom services can address a range of operational issues.

Using high-volume production scanners and a combination of manual data entry, automated form classification and intelligent data capture systems, we transform your paper documents into digital information delivered quickly and efficiently to the right people at the right time. Our digital mailroom solutions incorporate time and cost-saving improvements for mail workflows, and all associated business processes.

Working with you towards a solution

Our consultants work with you to help you understand your current service and identify areas for improvement to efficiency and effectiveness. We deliver financial value through precise process efficiency and technical innovation. By providing a professionally managed digital mailroom service, with clearly defined SLAs, we help you improve the service you offer your clients. We introduce transparency and control through streamlined processes and detailed management information.

Significant savings and improvements

- Eliminate costly mailroom overheads
- Reduced paper storage costs
- Eliminate delays in receiving important mail items
- Save time by receiving electronic post instantly
- No need for costly equipment, maintenance and consumables
- Improved compliance and visibility
- An auditable process

The effective management of your mail can impact on the success of your business. Contact Us today to find out how we can help your organisation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBjh5Y9-zAA

The NHS should be paperless by 2018… Are they going to achieve this?

The NHS should be paperless by 2018… Are they going to achieve this?

Just 29% of NHS Managers believe the 2018 target of a paperless office is realistic.

Going paperless is a challenge for any large organisation, but for the cash-strapped NHS; constantly under public scrutiny, the task looks much less attainable.

Many Health and IT professionals remain deeply sceptical that the NHS can be paperless by 2018, two years after health secretary Jeremy Hunt unveiled the ambitious target, exclusive research carried out by Health Service Journal has found.

71% of respondents to the survey, agreed with a statement that the paperless by 2018 goal was “a great ambition, but unrealistic”.

The 573 healthcare leaders, clinicians and IT professionals polled also expressed widespread concern that lack of technological expertise and resources would undermine the NHS’s drive to integrate health and social care.

About 70% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “The integrated care agenda will not be possible because not enough attention and/or resource is being focused on developing technology to underpin integrated records.”

Better use of data and technology has the power to improve health, transforming the quality and reducing the cost of healthcare services. It can give patients more control over their health and wellbeing, empower carers, reduce the administrative burden for care professionals, and support the development of new medicines and treatments. By April 2018, digital information is supposed to be fully available across NHS and social care services.

Established by the Department of Health, the National Information Board (NIB) is a body which brings together national health and care organisations from the NHS, public health, clinical science, social care and local government. It is charged with developing the strategic priorities for data and technology in health and care to deliver the maximum benefit for all citizens and patients and to make appropriate recommendations for investment and action. The urgency of this is increasingly evident: the healthcare system faces unprecedented financial constraint at a time of rising demand for its services.

However, scattered around the country are some success stories:

Pioneer Greater Manchester GP Dr Amir Hannan says that more than 2,400 of his patients – 20 per cent of his practice list – are now equipped and, importantly, trained to view their records online.

At Grove House Practise in Runcorn, GP David Wilson headed up a project to digitise records. Grove House has scanned all its legacy patient records, saving a vast amount of space and time. Receptionists no longer have to search through thousands of folders.

“We’ve not used paper records in consultation since 2000,” Wilson said. “We have 11,000 patients, and the racking space was astronomical, taking up 20 square metres. So we revamped the office space once we went live 18 months ago.”

The first NHS hospital trust to announce it had gone paperless, St Helens and Knowsley, dispensed with its last paper records in 2012.

However, even IT enthusiasts warn that bringing the entire health and social care system up to the levels of these front-runners will be difficult. TechUK, which represents IT suppliers, reported in 2014 that the 2018 paperless target was “achievable”, but that major challenges remain.

Sources: Health Service Journal, Computer Weekly, Local Government Chronicle, Gov.UK, Raconteur

 

Why not discuss the possibility of going paperless for your business? Contact us today…

http://fortressandcastle.com/contact-us/