Among the technology trends impacting small business is the rapid adoption of cloud computing. Small businesses also are implementing video conferencing faster than ever – even faster than large businesses. It makes sense then that small businesses should consider taking their video conferencing to the clouds.
Move to the cloud to cut costs and save resources
Plantronics research indicates that as of last year, 48 percent of small and medium businesses are using the cloud, and another 35 percent have plans to move operations to the cloud over the course of this year. (We’ll have updated research soon.)
The shift to the clouds saves money. Utilizing the cloud eliminates start-up costs and the purchase of expensive software applications and makes it possible to employ the latest software updates immediately. Cloud services also enhance flexibility; small businesses can increase or decrease capacity based on need.
Small businesses find they also save resources by moving to the cloud. Since staff is freed from handling routine IT maintenance, it can focus on more important work. Group collaboration gets a boost because information is no longer hosted on individual computers. This means that employees can enjoy greater mobility yet still have instant access to information wherever they are.
Increasingly employees are using their personal devices for work. One study indicates that 80 percent of small and medium businesses are using smartphones and 60 percent using tablets for work purposes.
New video conferencing services integrate with personal devices enabling teams to stay connected and collaborate wherever they are. This is particularly helpful for remote team members or those who travel a lot for business.
Access video conferencing through the clouds
Many video conferencing systems now are cloud based, which makes deployment even easier and less costly since there are no upfront costs. At the simplest level, an inexpensive webcam, a headset and a free cloud based video conferencing enables small business team members to get up and running on a smartphone, laptop or tablet, whatever is most convenient at the time. Since the user interface runs across any platform, there’s no need for a different set of instructions for each device. By being cloud-based, the video conferencing services require no infrastructure changes or software investment and are always up to date.
If you are in the clouds or headed there, take your video conferencing along. Your team can be up and running in no time to collaborate or participate in a webinar. It can meet with a client or customer across town or across the country within minutes if there’s a need. Video conferencing in the clouds might be the next best thing to being there – or maybe even better.