So, not only is the decision to move your business to the cloud a difficult one, fraught with anxiety about security and reliability, but in addition, deciding which tools and applications to use can be simply mindboggling. There are practically an infinite number of options – but some are definitely better than others. Let’s take a look at ten of the best, most consistent cloud tools you’ll need to keep things running smoothly.
- Salesforce.com (Cloud Sales Management) – Number one priority – making sales! Salesforce.com efficiently manages all your sales needs in a logical, intuitive interface. You can monitor your pipeline, track your sales, design auto responses, integrate your email, and enable multiple mobile devices. Salesforce.com is the category leader in sales management. There’s also an awesome free email app called Yesware that has lots of useful functions like email tracking, templates, and even automated reminders. Yesware integrates perfectly with Salesforce.
- Rackspace.com (Cloud Storage & Data Delivery) – Storage and data sharing are fundamental to operating on the cloud, and Rackspace is robust enough to handle all your needs and then some. You can move your apps to the cloud, share all the data you can imagine, and continue to run your business without missing a beat.
- QuickBooks Online (Cloud Accounting) – You sell to make money, and then you have to track where it goes. QuickBooks is the tested and trusted leader in the category, and lets you and your staff work, sell, bill, and ship from anywhere on the planet. Freshbooks, Netsuite, Wave and Xero all offer similar functionality.
- Hootsuite (Cloud Social Media Management) – You are using social media to promote your business, right? If not, then we need to have a serious talk! But it can be time consuming to manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the others if you do them individually. Hootsuite lets you manage all your social media accounts from one platform. You can schedule posts and reply to messages all in one place, making your marketing efforts much more coherent and efficient.
- Google Drive (Cloud Drive) – Not only does Google Drive integrate seamlessly with Gmail, but it also lets you and your staff store and share files, as well as collaborate from anywhere in the world. Google Drive is used by more folks every day, and the ease with which you can securely share files is constantly improving. Dropbox is a popular alternative cloud drive.
- Microsoft Office 365 (Office Applications In The Cloud) – No matter which devices you use, Microsoft still makes the most powerful office products. Word, Excel, and Powerpoint are consistent, reliable, and now available on the cloud. With a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can use the programs on multiple devices and work wherever and whenever the need arises.
- Backupify (Cloud Backup) – Do not neglect this tool! If it would inconvenience you or cost you money if you lost a file, then you need to back your files up. Both Backupify and Carbonite provide secure, reliable storage for your critical data. Being able to restore data from the Cloud gives you peace of mind and if you need it, the service will pay for itself several times over.
- Gmail (Cloud Email) – There’s really no better choice than Gmail, for lots of reasons. From powerful, logical spam filters to customizable options that permit you to personalize your email, you can’t find a better, more reliable email service.
- IFTTT (Cloud Logic) – IFTTT, If This, Then That, is a super cool tool that creates logic to permit all your cloud apps to work together smoothly and consistently. As we bring more and more of our business and our personal lives onto the cloud, integration becomes even more important. IFTTT helps you juggle multiple tools and apps easily.
- Cloudability (Cloud Cost Contol)- So you’ve assembled all the critical components you need to run your business on the cloud, but then you discover that it’s not free. Heck, it’s not even cheap. Track and manage your costs easily with Cloudability.
Whether you’re already operating on the cloud, or whether you’re considering making the transition, your best bet is to listen to the experts about which tools are the most valuable and reliable. Don’t risk your valuable time, money, and security on apps that promise the world, yet fail to deliver.