Many beginner business owners often come to IT professionals and consultants when they desire to be able to run part of their business online. Traditionally, particularly people from older generations (baby boomers) have been used to running business via their local computer, and advertising through mediums such as the Yellow Pages, print media and radio and television. Now, with the advent of a lot of digital media, these mediums are largely replaced with the online equivalents.
Explaining Cloud Storage to Business Owners
A business owner who wishes to serve their customers in the best possible way, will want to start migrating his or her documents to an online format from paper based. Emails replace letters, and online forms replace a lot of paperwork. This means that secure storage is important, and a business owner will want to know how their documents are both backed up, stored, and maintained in a secure storage facility.
The simplest way to explain cloud storage to a business owner, is that it is similar still to how a filing cabinet works, or how a file system works on a local hard drive, and all documents become scanned, or electronic versions, and stored offline on a remote computer. Firewalls and other security measures, such as virtual private networks, passwords and secure http requests ensure that data is kept confidential and away from the hands of people who misuse information.
Assisting a Customer to Select Cloud Storage
A business owner may not have anticipated various information technology related costs in his or her budget when starting up a new business; this can be present some issues for the Information Technology consultant when he or she is assisting the entrepreneur to change how data and forms are stored. The best offering for a person with little to no experience is a free solution, which can be scaled up as the amount of storage increases. Free solutions include cloud storage services such as Dropbox, and Amazon Simple Storage Service. A lot of people also have a free Google Cloud Drive. Mac owners may have an iCloud drive, and these all come with a certain amount of storage without having to pay for it.
Assisting Your Business IT Customer To Expand Operations
After a customer has been used to using cloud storage, and has mastered some basics of its operation, depending on the needs of the customer, it may be time to recommend a solution that integrates with some workflow solutions, and e-commerce solutions in order to streamline their business. These solutions may be tailored around:
- customer onboarding
- lead generation
- sales and marketing
- customer support
- product and inventory management
- corporate management systems
For example, if a business is looking to scale and expand, it may be time to recommend the upgrade to a Corporate Management System that is fully integrated. These solutions include Zapier (automated workflows), Slack, and Salesforce. A lot of these software solutions integrate with cloud storage, so it is worth examining current customer infrastructure, and choosing the best additional software suite to integrate with the client’s cloud storage solution. In the beginning, it is highly recommended to sit down with the client, and present how a potential cloud storage service could eventually expand into workflow and systems automation, cutting down the amount of work that staff and management have to perform.
This has benefits to both the customer and the IT manager, in that the customer is aware of how he or she can benefit in running their business in this manner, and the IT manager knows that they have provided a feasible solution in a staged progression. It ultimately is about customer focused solutions.