Education is generally called the great equalizer, but for businesses, technology is often the great equalizer. When employed, technology can bring economies of scale, improve efficiency, and open the doors to markets you would not otherwise have access. Cloud computing and Mobile Applications are going to be two effective tools for any almost any startup or new business. This article highlights important considerations to consider regarding these tools.
Because of the massive upfront cost savings, cloud computing is a necessary item for almost all new businesses. The four factors to be considered when choosing the options are:
How much storage (both short and long term) is needed?The most basic use of cloud computing is for storage. Many new businesses may be able to obtain the storage they need without having to invest any money. Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365 don’t charge for initial storage space. However, if you need to store a large amount of data you will need to consider options which will likely require payment. Dropbox is $795 for 5 users or $9.99 a month for an individual for 50 GB.
Do I need access to any applications? The cloud is not only the way to save money on storage; you can also save money on costly applications. If you do not already have the software needed for your business you will want to consider those cloud options which give you access to application. Zoho gives access to Office for SharePoint as well as their own accounting, crm, and project management applications and you only pay for the a specific access you need.
How much support is needed? All cloud options offer forums and online troubleshooting guides and, depending on your technical expertise, this may be sufficient. However, individuals who are not technologically savvy may need an actual person for technological support. For those individuals a boutique or collocation option may be best. In Atlanta, Ubiquity Services is one option for co-location and technical support.
What are my security requirements?Depending on the nature of your business you may have certain security requirements. For instance anyone who frequently collects personally identifiable information would need to have enhanced security requirements. When determining whether a cloud storage site has sufficient security consider the level of encryption, multi-engine virus and spam protection.
Some mobile capability is a requirement for a new business marketing to consumers and can also help to create sales for business to business or business to government companies. Simply put, you want your potential consumers to be able to have access to your company, wherever they are.
Website OptimizationAt the very minimum you need to optimize your website for viewing on a mobile application. Don’t lose a potential sale because the customer found your mobile website experience frustrating. This optimization process should not be your d.i.y. project for the week. It is worth it to hire an individual or company for this process. They will start with creating a sub-domain for your website and then paring the information down to what would be most impactful and practical for a potential user. Consider what type of mobile phones your users may be using, cohesive branding/coloring with your website, simple and minimal navigation, and what information would be most useful on the go. These local businesses can guide you in the right direction Sisson Media and Cre8ive Industries
Mobile ApplicationsYou should create an actual downloadable mobile application only if some of the services or products that you offer would be accessed via phone. For instance, insurance companies and law offices are creating applications so that their clients can report claim information along with pictures taken by phone immediately after the claim occurs. The client can immediately know that this issue is taken care of and the insurance companies and law offices benefit from having better information regarding the claim and improving customer loyalty. Grossi Web is a local business that can create a mobile application for you
Asking these questions will help you make the right decision for your business.