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Cloud Computing: Tips & Tools to Increase Team Productivity

April 2, 2019 No Comments

Featured article by Stephanie Onken, Independent Technology Author

cloud security 300x220 Cloud Computing: Tips & Tools to Increase Team Productivity

The increasingly fast adoption of new technologies has drastically changed how business is conducted, and it isn’t expected to slow down any time soon.

Businesses of all sizes recognize the benefits of cloud computing, regardless of industry. It helps control costs and is easy to scale as the business grows. It also requires less investment than physical equipment or software, as well, allowing more small businesses and start-ups to utilize the newer technologies without the typical budgetary constraints.

Cloud computing is also extremely convenient, with the service providers maintaining software updates and the information accessible anywhere with internet access. Consider the difference cloud computing has made in the human medical industry, for example. Many patients can now access their records and print copies directly from a portal provided by their hospital. It has made everything from requesting appointments to emailing the provider directly easier and more efficient.

Lastly, and most importantly, cloud computing offers a different level of security than what has been provided by traditional means. If a power surge destroys a computer that backs its information up to the cloud, none of that information is destroyed.

Meeting the Need

However, as cloud computing technology is more widely adopted, the need for experts in the field will also increase. “As technology develops, demand for mobile application expertise is expected to grow, leading to more work for software developers, information security analysts, and information systems managers who can advise on and oversee implementation and updates of mobile apps.” (Source)

According to Gartner analysts, the public cloud computing market was predicted to grow by 17.3% in 2019 and isn’t expected to peak until 2021. By 2020, global cloud computing is expected to be a $270 billion industry, and “90% of companies in the U.S. say they either plan to maintain or increase their cloud computing budgets. (Source)

In addition to continuing education, IT professionals interested in expanding their cloud computing skills should consider learning to use:

- Amazon Web Services- Microsoft Azure- Google Cloud

Certification is another route one can take to expand their cloud computing knowledge. Certification gives individuals a way to verify their skills through industry leaders, showcasing their expertise and knowledge. There are also several certifications available that are highly sought after, including:

- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Microsoft Role-Based Certifications

What Can Be Managed in the Cloud?

Because cloud computing stores information online, it is available by anyone with access anywhere they are with either a smart phone or internet connection. With this type of instant access used correctly, team productivity has an opportunity to increase.

For instance, consider customer relationship management (CRM) software. Thanks to cloud computing, sales representatives are no longer tied to the home office to gather client information. They are also able to update client records immediately, helping to keep the entire team aware of the sales process. If a business is thinking about upgrading to a new cloud-based CRM platform, consider Oracle or Salesforce, two industry leaders in CRM software. Each provider also offers certification specific to their platform.

Another way to increase team productivity through cloud computing is by implementing new communication tools. Zoom, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts all offer means to connect teams and clients together via voice or video inexpensively and reliably. If one is looking for an instant messaging service, Slack is a top provider with over eight million daily active users as of May 2018. Users can also integrate different platforms into their account, tying most cloud computing services together.

Lastly, consider moving project management responsibilities to the cloud. This will help simplify projects and make completing them easier and more efficiently. Companies such as Zoho, Basecamp, and Asana are incredibly useful tools that help teams work together better regardless of location.

Consistency is Key

To ensure the successful adoption of cloud computing technologies, consistency is key. When implementing tools within a team, ensure everyone understands not only how to use the service but why it’s important everyone uses the service. If a technology is only half used, it’s only half as effective and leads to confusion of where files are saved, who has access to what, and a whole host of other problems.

Consistency is also key when earning certifications and continuing education. It’s one thing to gain knowledge, it’s another to gain purposeful knowledge. Understanding where one wants to go professionally and personally will be key to deciding which certifications and education are pertinent. If someone is looking to extend longevity within the same organization, consider the organizational needs and management expectations to best match with the appropriate education.

CLOUD COMPUTING, DATA and ANALYTICS 

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