Cloudy skies are great for productivity

Raindrops keep fallin'

Have you ever realized (usually with an embarrassed flush) that you left the contract, or blueprint, or project specs back at the office while you were out in the field, meeting with a customer? And you felt like a, well, you know.

Any small business owner knows that a smooth-running operation requires attention to detail. Behind every storefront lies a complex system of paperwork, hands, and data that can make magic happen when all the parts come together like instruments in a finely tuned orchestra. When one of the players fall short, it can hinder the productivity of the entire company.

An in-tune system is vital to small business success, and fortunately, today’s world of ever-clever technology offers a smooth path to harmony. Enter the Cloud.

What is cloud-based file sharing?

The idea behind this scalable, portable, and affordable solution is simple: upload files to a Web-based platform, choose your sharing preferences, and have access to all of the files you need from any Internet-enabled device, any time.

Simply upload files — text, image, video, etc. — to your “cloud” from one computer or smartphone, and then you can access it on ANY computer or smartphone. Having that flexibility can protect against crashing computers, lost USB drives, coffee spills, and just plain old-fashioned forgetfulness.

Working in the cloud makes it easy to get back to business.

Now, when you’re away from your office you can still have the files you need at your fingertips. Upload a copy of each file to your mobile-enabled file-sharing system. If you’re an architect who needs to show your client a blueprint, or an artist who wants to show off your portfolio, you can quickly pull it up on your mobile device. Have to print a contract on the fly? Simply access it in the cloud and print it from any computer.

One of the best things about cloud-based platforms like Microsoft OneDrive™, Google Drive™ and Apple’s iCloud™ is that there’s very little restriction on the kinds of files you can upload to them. That means you can utilize that storage space to address a whole range of issues.

Sounds great. Where do you sign up?

Well, there is a chance you already have a cloud-based system and don’t even know it. If you get your email via Microsoft® Office 365 from GoDaddy, congratulations, you’re already there! All of our Office 365 products come with access to OneDrive, a cloud-storage program tied to your email address. Simply sign into your inbox from any device with an Internet connection and you have access to every file you could possibly want to upload to OneDrive. It’s awesome.

These super-cool cloud-based platforms, and standalone products like Dropbox, are changing the way small businesses optimize their performance. Imagine having access to all of your daily documents with a single sign-in to one secure platform. With a little foresight, you’ll never be caught without an umbrella  again.

Erik Wong
Erik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com.