Running your business remotely using the Cloud

The old model of going to the office every day, clocking in at 9 and out at 5, has changed for years. But thanks to cloud and remote backup and storage, it’s possible to keep a business running between employees across the country, even across the world, from whatever computer you log into.

The possibilities of cloud computing have been clear since Microsoft and Google introduced their app suites back in 2012. Not only can you use it to sync and store your files between computers, you can share files remotely with dozens of other people in your organisation and outside, from your desktop PC, your laptop in a coffee shop, an airport terminal or from your smartphone.

OneDrive and Dropbox are two hugely popular solutions, and both can be installed as a desktop application to seamlessly upload the contents of certain folders as you work. You can even edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations through any browser using Microsoft Office 365’s web-based editing tools.

Nobody likes to consider it, but the cloud’s possibilities for data recovery are a major draw. A failed hard drive or stolen laptop are no fun, but the damage can be limited if your essential records and current projects are stored safely online. The prospect of computer security and network security is much stronger, too: however good your IT support, and however good your approach to security, Google, Dropbox, or Microsoft will have a stronger system in place.

Starting to use file sharing and syncing to work on group projects like business plans, digital journalism or freelance design work globally throws up its own problems (you’ve got to have a decent, reliable internet connection, for one) but if it’s adopted by enough people, the days of the lost memory stick throwing a spanner into a contract may be behind us, and you won’t have to move halfway across the world for your dream job.

The cloud might not be new, but it can be used in plenty of new ways, and its enhancement and liberation of people’s creativity and co-operation is only a good thing.