putting your office online
Most businesses use office suites with their business. Office suites are a package of productivity software that include a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program and many other useful tools. There are many providers of office suites, such as Microsoft Office 365, Libre Office, ZOHO Docs, iWork, and many others that run from your computer, phone or tablet but they store the information and changes to “the cloud”. A simple description of the cloud is a network of connected computers and storage servers that are accessed online. To use cloud-based software, you only need an internet connection.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING CLOUD OFFICE SUITES?
In a word, it’s about security.
The people who design and run these very complex and sophisticated data centres have a lot of money and technical expertise behind them, and they are all about security for their investment. When you use them, you use their security.
This is a very common reason given for only installing software on a computer we own. However, if the internet was at the speed that it is today when it was being developed 30 years ago, computer software would never have been designed to work only on stand alone computers.
The truth is, if you rely on software only installed on your computer, you are gambling your business. You are very vulnerable to downtime, loss or theft when all your information only exists on any device in a physical location. A break in, a fire, a flood or whatever – that is all it will take to put your business right back to day one.
BACKUP’S ARE IMPORTANT, BUT…
Even if you do have a consistent backup system in place (and you should), then when you have a system failure, it will take many hours to restore from the backup and you will always lose something like program settings or the odd file. Anyone who has ever had to do a full Windows Reset or re-install will know how disruptive that can be. Having done this many times, I can confidently tell you that it will remove at least a few days of productivity from your schedule. For most people who are not tech savvy, they will need to pay quite a bit of money for someone to do this for them.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A DISASTER SCENARIO?
You suddenly discover that all your hardware has disappeared, but more worse, so has all your information. The anxiety this produces is very much like jumping out of an airplane or being involved in a car crash. Perhaps thieves broke in and stole your gear, or your computer died, or something else is responsible for taking your hardware. Regardless of the cause, the situation now is that you can’t run your business.
For people who have been through this, they describe the anxiety of the situation as very much like jumping out of an airplane or being involved in a car crash.
Recover with the cloud
Fortunately, when you use Cloud-based software like Google G Suite, all your information is stored and backed up on other computers online, you only need to borrow a computer or buy a new one to back up and going with business. These are the steps:
- On your new computer, connect it to your internet.
- Open the default browser on your computer (Mac or Windows) and type in the search bar “download chrome browser”. Follow the prompts to download and install Chrome browser to your new computer. I recommend setting Chrome as your default browser when it asks.
- Login to your Google account on the Chrome browser.
- Once you have logged into your Google account, your Chrome browser is restored as it was and you can readily access all your files stored in your Google Drive. You now have access to your emails, your documents, your calendar, your bookmarks, your passwords. It’s all there.
- Put your computer files back. Google can even backup your computer for you and restore the folders and files that were on your old computer to their previous locations on your hard drive!
The whole process takes only minutes to get back to where you were before the disaster – not hours, days, weeks….or never!