Cloud Applications: Advantages
According to IBM, using the cloud helps reduce labor costs, simplifies capital expenses and lowers real estate and energy costs. Working in the cloud also helps streamline and organize your business, designs and files. In a survey by Office Max, 90 percent of those surveyed felt clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work while 77 percent said it damages their productivity. There’s really no debate on whether or not cloud applications and computing help organize your business and benefit your bottom line. But which ones are really worth a look? Here are five awesome cloud applications worth considering.
Store all your files — from Illustrator files to contracts to stock photos — in Just Cloud. When your client calls for a last minute change, you can access your files from your laptop or mobile device. Unlike other cloud storage services, JustCloud is compatible across PC, Mac, Linux, Android and more. Designers can also use JustCloud to back up their computers and share folders with clients and team members on the go. You can see how it stacks up against other cloud storage providers at a resource like Top10cloudstorage.com.
Turn your designs and finished presentations into a digital sketchbook with Morpholio. Its collection of cloud-based apps keeps your work beautifully organized and ready to present. For starters, use the Exhibit app to display high-resolution images in gallery or kiosk format. Its Journal app lets you turn your photos into a contact sheet by writing on top of your work. Send it back to your photographer with feedback to incorporate revisions into your final layout.
Insight Squared takes your design hobby or consultancy and turns it into a full-fledged business. With an easy and intuitive interface, check your sales data with a quick and easy report generation feature. The reporting and analytics tool helps you see exactly what’s going on with your marketing, sales, financials and staffing. Then refer to your sales pipeline to figure out how your cash flow is going to figure out how much you need to scale up during the next quarter.
Ever wonder what your clients really think about your work and service? Design an online survey to display perfectly on smartphones, tablets and a multitude of browsers with GetFeedback. According to the app, 50 percent of surveys are opened on mobile devices, so you need to design something that displays correctly and gives credibility to your business. Part of the Salesforce family, GetFeedback also maps back into your account and integrates into your contacts and case list.
Quickly set up a cloud-based workflow with WorkflowMax to keep track of everything from project details to time tracking. Designers can also generate branded and professional looking quotes to send to new clients. There’s also a handy streamlined invoicing tool based on your hourly rate or a flat fee. While many project management tools can generate invoices, WorkflowMax helps you get a handle on cash flow with bulk invoicing capabilities.
Ever wonder how to charge for premium areas of your site to download stock footage and graphics? Integrate an app like Memberly with Stripe to conveniently charge for protected areas of your site. And if you charge for consultation calls, integrate Stripe with a system like Acuity Scheduling to let clients book a time from your calendar and pay for it all in one step. Stripe integrates seamlessly so your client never has to leave your website and allows for quick and easy credit card transactions at a low fee.