Using Cloud Technology for Managing freelance and remote Teams
Not every next generation company is Born in the Cloud. The introduction of cloud technology into modern businesses has re-invented the way we think about working. As long as there is a network connection, employees are able to work with their colleagues no matter where they are.
Companies that rely on a lot of freelancers or contractors have probably benefited most from the introduction of cloud working. Employers can now communicate and collaborate with staff on opposite sides of the world as easily as if they were sitting next to each other in the same office.
Luckily this level of business convenience doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Tools Out There That You Can Integrate Into Your Business
That are only a few pounds or dollars and in some cases completely free.
Trello is a productivity app developed by Fog Creek Software Inc. that’s half-way between a whiteboard and a card index library. At the highest level there are boards that represent the high level topics. Underneath each of these boards are a number of cards that represent the sub-topics and each of these can then be further expanded by adding additional attachments, checklists, and labels.
Within Trello you can control who has access to which topics, allowing you to manage each project with just the relevant staff members.
Trello is available as both a desktop, and mobile application allowing for even greater flexibility. The best news is that Trello is completely free. If you’re a business that depends on effective collaboration and the free exchange of ideas, Trello is definitely something you should try.
Google Docs is a free software suite that incorporates a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation program that works in a similar fashion to the applications found within the Microsoft Office suite, with the main difference being that Google Docs - is completely free.
Google Docs is designed to be a very collaborative tool. Not only can multiple users all access and edit the same documents at the same time, but you can also see the sheet as it is edited.
There is a comment and chat feature that allows you to actively discuss documents you’re working on with other document users and collaborators. Plus, you won’t need to worry about losing your work as changes are automatically saved with a full revision history.
All of the applications within Google Docs are available as a desktop top application or as individual mobile phone apps.
Free Cloud Storage
Depending on the size of your business and the volume of documents that need to be shared, you may need to start looking at cloud storage. Cloud storage companies can provide you with all the storage you'll need, and the cost of this storage varies from company to company but if your requirements are fairly low you should be able to find a deal. For example Media Fire offers a basic package of 10GB of storage for free, although there are many others that may suit your business needs.
Using these companies also comes with the advantage of not having to worry about any of the hardware or network maintenance associated with managing your own business storage, and your data is secure and as private as you need it to be.
Simply put, Skype is an online teleconferencing application that gives you the ability to audio call or video call other Skype members. There are two versions of the application, Skype and Skype for Business.
Skype for Business, set at about a pound a month gives you the option of integrating Skype with your company email system, and having up to 250 members on a call simultaneously, as well as security management of employee user accounts. Regular Skype is perfect for a company with lower usage, as it still allows up to 25 people to be on the same call, and it doesn’t come with a price tag at all.
These are just a handful of some of the options that are now available to any business looking to integrate cloud computing into their business for a low price. It proves that you don't have to pay huge amounts of money to receive all the collaborative benefits of cloud computing.
Photo courtesy of CEXP.com