Guest Blog: Modern Productivity Tools Can Save Businesses Time, Money

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The advent of cloud computing ushered in a host of ways small and mid-sized businesses can preserve and even increase productivity. Below are a few ways modern technology can help businesses save money and get back a bit of one of our most precious resources — time.

Collaboration and communication: It’s hard enough building a team of employees that works well together. Add the need to invest in and maintain technologies that create effective collaboration and you’ve got an even bigger challenge, especially with ever-shrinking IT budgets.

Fortunately, the cloud makes it easy for small to medium-sized businesses to provide workers with integrated, intuitive ways to collaborate and remain productive in the process. Cloud productivity solutions combining programs employees use the most — email, document creation, messaging, and conferencing — and deliver enterprise-grade capabilities at prices smaller organizations can afford.

Mobility: Because cloud computing solutions are available anywhere you have a secure Internet connection, they help keep you and your employees be more productive in and out of the office. This bodes well for companies with field staff, as well as businesses that want to provide more opportunities for employees to work remotely.

Research shows that many of the main reasons people prefer to work remotely have to do with productivity — no commute, fewer distractions, and the ability to complete unfinished work at home. Anytime, anywhere access to email, documents and other business data, as well as the ability to manage and share documents, helps you do more with less time. 

Security: Remaining abreast of the latest security threats and measures for protection requires a significant amount of time and energy, especially for those smaller Detroit firms who may lack an in-house IT staff. Yet, it’s not a task to neglect, as any security breach that compromises data can have significant ramifications that can lead to decreases in customer confidence as well as financial losses.

With the cloud, small to medium-sized businesses can reduce some of the stress that comes from trying to independently maintain rigorous security standards. A qualified cloud services vendor can provide you with enterprise-grade security protocols as well as ongoing understanding of the latest threats and how to address them.

While there’s no silver bullet solution for increased productivity in the workplace, modern technology goes a long way toward helping businesses operate more efficiently and see significant improvements in how employees spend their time.

Eva Osborne is a partner executive with Microsoft Corp. She works with small businesses and partners in metro Detroit and throughout the Midwest.

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