2021 got off to a good start this morning. A student, starting her psychology studies, responded to my offer on Facebook for my last twenty or so ring-binders and lever-arch folders. This would save me some valuable space in my home office but, more importantly, it marked a milestone in my move to a paperless, cloud-based business. All my book-keeping and accounting information is already on the cloud, as I use Free-Agent, my Customer Relationship (CRM) information is already on the cloud, as I use Nimble, most of my contracts and agreements are kept in the cloud using Adobe Sign, and more or less everything else is in the cloud through Microsoft 365 for Business. Everything is additionally backed up elsewhere in the cloud using Acronis and SkyKick.
Although the binders had been redundant for a while, their removal represents a marker in my progress towards a truly cloud based business. I still have a server in my office, but this has been redundant for some time, so I plan to dispose of this very soon. Should I ever require a server going forward, I will certainly take advantage of one or more of the excellent cloud-based virtual servers that are now so widely available, or possibly Microsoft Azure. My telephone system is cloud based VOIP, so I can access that and receive calls through my landline, my computer, or my mobile.
Being cloud-based means that I only really need my laptop and my mobile for all aspects of my business, so I can work from wherever I want: my office, my living room, the local coffee shop or library, a client’s premises, or even the local park or my garden, if it’s not too cold or wet and the sunshine isn’t too bright. Even if my laptop fails, I can access everything I need via the web, so I can fall back on an old PC, borrow my wife’s, or buy a replacement and have it up and running within an hour, so that’s disaster recovery sorted.
Of course, my broadband is now a key component of my business infrastructure, but I have invested in a suitable mobile account with enough GB/month to get me through in an emergency, or when I want to work in a location where broadband is not easily available. 4G is already faster than many landline broadband services nowadays and 5G will take mobile to the next level.
With everything so easy to access from any location and almost any device, security becomes extremely important. Though it may be a bit of a nuisance at times, I have felt it wise to implement two-factor-authentication wherever it is available, and I have installed the best security software that I can find.
If you’re keen to make your working environment more flexible, allow your workforce to work from home, want to simplify your on-site IT infrastructure and add disaster recovery, or just make more use of what the cloud has to offer, contact me. I might be able to help.
Are you worried about COVID-19, the Corona virus?
Most people I have spoken to about this accept that there is a reasonable likelihood that it may become fairly widespread in this country, but few are overly concerned, as the fatality rate is actually quite low, and most people suffer only mild symptoms.
It may not be the direct health effects though that cause the most pain. In Italy today it was announced that schools would close to stop the virus from spreading. Imagine the effect that would have in this country if our government were to implement such a measure. Parent would need to stay home to care for their children. Combine this with the introduction of statutory sick pay from day one and everyone being encouraged to self-isolate and the impact on small businesses could be enormous.
One way to mitigate this would be to allow staff to work from home, but this is only possible if staff have access to resources and communications lines to allow them to do this effectively.
As more and more use is made of cloud resources, this objective becomes much more achievable. Route22 can offer these facilities in terms of tools such as Office 365, SharePoint and One Voice telephone systems. All of these facilities are easily affordable for even one-man businesses, and they can be implemented very quickly.
Take a look at our website https://www.route22.cloud/ or give us a call to discuss possibilities.