Moving Business Workflows to The Cloud

Businesses large and small are moving computing workflows off of the desktop and into the cloud, giving workers the opportunity to create, share, and manage information more easily and securely. Here are a few things to consider when moving to the cloud:

Sharing documents: Cloud computing makes it easier for marketers to collaborate on projects and to work on them from remote locations. Cloud-based document sharing solutions like Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft Sharepoint,, Google Docs, and others allow marketers to create marketing materials and presentations in the cloud and send a link – not an attachment – to recipients. The advantage is significant: recipients can click the link and work on a single, shared document instead of multiple versions of an email-attached file.

Maximizing budgets: Because they do not require hosted software or IT installations, many cloud-based marketing solutions – such as presentation tools, design software, and email clients – require no upfront costs. This often means a smoother budget approval process and an easier time selecting and switching out platforms until you find what works for you. It also enables marketers to use the money saved from not buying hosted solutions on other uses.

Keeping track of bookmarks: Smartphones and tablets aren’t designed to store large files, so why not let the data live in the cloud and simply access it when you need it through bookmarks? This means getting more serious about managing your bookmarks. Here are a few cloud-based solutions that will help keep you organized no matter where you are: – one of the best know solutions, Delicious helps you store and organize bookmarks and even share them with others.
Google Bookmarks – Google has a very strong product because it integrates with the Chrome browser, allowing you to easily add a “bookmark this” button to the Chrome toolbar and pump your links directly into your cloud-based Google account. – A simple interface that integrates with several browser toolbars. – the original, Yahoo! Bookmarks are an important part of many myYahoo accounts. Yahoo! To save links with a single click you must install the Yahoo! toolbar into your browser. Like Xmarks, MyBookmarks is a free tool with straightforward interface.

Keeping track of passwords: You could set up a Google document to keep track of your passwords, but that’s risky; a lost smartphone or open browser can leave you exposed. Word or Excel document can be password protected but you can’t access them from anywhere. So, back to the cloud we go for password storage and retrieval:

Passpack. Passpack is one of the best. Very secure, easy to use, with a simple interface that works on any device with a browser.
Roboform. Roboform has been around for some time and offers a series of time-saving and mobile features.
LastPass. LastPass is another cloud-based solution with a premium version that’s only $1 a month!
SplashID. SplashID provides desktop apps that upload to the cloud and it appears to function on mobile devices.

Everyone knows that cloud computing provides opportunities for IT cost savings, document sharing, remote access, device independence and increased security, but cloud solutions hold special benefits for marketers. So ask yourself, are you fully maximizing the cloud?

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