If you’ve worked in an office in any time over the last ten years or so, chances are you’ve used cloud computing at some point – whether you knew it or not. We’ve all heard talk of ‘the cloud’ before, but it’s not always entirely clear what exactly people are referring to. A storage system? A method of collaborating? A data-sharing service?
In this article, we’ll explain precisely what cloud computing is, and how a cloud-based job management system can save your business time (and money).
What is ‘the cloud’?
This ever-so-slightly ominous sounding term has been around since the mid-nineties, but only in recent years has it entered common usage. Cloud computing refers to servers accessed through the internet, and the various forms of software that operate on said servers.
In even simpler terms, cloud technology means many computers (or other electronic devices, for that matter) can access the same stored information via the internet, as opposed to having to constantly send over individual files saved to individual computers.
To simplify even further… The cloud makes everything easier.
Okay… so what’s a cloud-based job management system?
A cloud-based job management system is, quite simply, software that allows you to collaborate with colleagues using cloud computing. What exactly this will look like in practice will vary from business to business and scale up or down with the size and needs of the company it’s designed for.
In a medium-sized business, for example, a cloud-based project management system would have features that allow for multiple colleagues to work on the same project at once, even while working remotely. This could be in the form of shared documents, calendars, schedules, and learning and development tools.
How can a cloud-based job management system help your business?
There are a bunch of ways cloud-based job management systems can help you save time, cut down on costs, and collaborate more effectively as a team. We implemented one such system for our client Markwater Plumbing: where previously they managed all incoming jobs and work updates over the phone, email and spreadsheets, the cloud-based job management system we created for them allowed off-site staff to get live updates on jobs, check details for the tasks they’d taken on, and view comments from colleagues about specific jobs in order to keep everybody informed and on track.
Now, let’s take a look at the most important ways the cloud can help your business.
Benefits of using cloud-based job management systems
1 - They allow you to access anything, anywhere
In 2020 and 2021, more people than ever before in human history have been working from home, and working remotely. Utilising the cloud to create a job management system means all your employees, wherever they are in the world, will have access to whatever files you need them to access, instantly. It transcends platforms too, so whether you’re a PC, Mac or Linux kind of user, collaboration is never more than a couple of clicks away.
2 - They’re great value
Setting up your own cloud-based project management system can help save you a lot of money in the long term. With all your data being stored on the cloud’s servers, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on purchasing your own storage or buying servers.
Furthermore, most cloud-based management systems offer strong customer support which can help keep your costs down without having to worry about managing and supporting your own servers.
3 - They’re simple to use
If you’ve used a computer in any shape or form previously (and if you’re reading this, you probably have) you’ll have no trouble getting started with a cloud-based management system. With the right cloud-based management system, you’ll spend less time sitting in repetitive training courses with your team, and more time collaborating, creating, and getting results.
4 - They’re great for collaboration
Shared files, saved in one common area, can be updated by anybody given access, whether they’re working from home, in the office, or sipping a cocktail on a far-flung beach. This means your team can contribute efficiently and quickly, and will never be scuppered by people downloading a document and editing it independently until there are several different versions. When you’re all working in one central location, everybody is looking at the same version of any given document.
5 - They help prevent the loss of files
How many times have you begun a meeting and referenced a document or file, only to find it’s not quite where you left it? With a simple, powerful and effective cloud-based job management tool, it’s far easier to keep track of all your file paths, and these will be the same across each computer or device you work on.
Every member of your team works in their own way, and if somebody is off sick one day or leaves the company, the file paths they’ve set up on their own laptop may be incomprehensible to others. When everything’s on the cloud, the order and layout of files is familiar to everyone, which means data is less likely to be misplaced, lost or deleted.
Cloud-based job management systems save your company time (and money)
As the afore-mentioned Markwater Plumbing, a cloud-based job management system can save your company a lot of time and money that would otherwise have been lost trying to tie everything together and ensure your team is working from the same page. If you’ve got several different people working on a project, for example, and one of them prefers a clipboard, one likes post-it notes, one likes a whiteboard and the other likes a spreadsheet, there’s going to be real difficulties when it comes to drawing everyone’s work together and hitting deadlines.
You’ll also find that by having larger projects broken into larger tasks and laid out step by step in a job management system, deadlines won't get forgotten, and your staff stay motivated as they get a boost from each minor target hit. Centralising your team’s workload in this way can therefore lead to better team morale, and more ideas being generated.
If you’d like your very own cloud-based job management system designed bespoke to your company or additional functionality integrated into an existing cloud based system you are already utilising, get in touch with us at Lokava today!
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