We have all probably heard about ‘the Cloud’ and the benefits of migrating our servers to it, but for many small business owners it is still a daunting step to take. What would building a virtual copy of your company server in the Cloud entail? How would we manage and maintain it?
If your company primarily uses its server for file storage, your move to the Cloud could be much easier than you fear by taking advantage of Microsoft Office 365’s SharePoint technology. SharePoint allows you to store company files in shared locations, just like your traditional server file shares, but with a host of other benefits. For starters, you can access these files from anywhere in the world where you have Internet access by logging into your company’s SharePoint webpage. Once there, you can open, edit and save documents directly through the webpage even if the device you are using to access these files does not have Microsoft’s Office suite installed. You can also use SharePoint to basically build out an internal company website or ‘Intranet’ by designing different pages to promote your company mission & values, sharing announcements or calendar events right along with all the important documents you need to share access for.
If you have security in mind, you can restrict files, folders or even entire sections/pages of your SharePoint site to authorized individuals. If you need a section of your SharePoint site to contain information for executive-level staff, it can easily be hidden from view for all other staff with proper security permissions. Having the ability to access this information from anywhere in the world might also raise security concerns for you. If so, you also have the ability to require two methods of authorization for users to log in: one being their password they use to sign in and the other being that they enter a verification code sent to their cell phone after they log into a different system for the first time.
As far as costs are concerned, SharePoint offers a lot of value for the price. SharePoint comes as part of a standard Microsoft plan that includes many other Office 365 features and technologies that Microsoft only continues to add to, all for one incredible monthly subscription fee of around $20 per user, per month. Each company with Office 365 gets 1 TB (or 1,000 GB) worth of space for SharePoint and an additional 1 GB per licensed user. This means running out of SharePoint storage space is typically not a worry for small businesses, but it’s also possible to increase the amount granted for a reasonable monthly rate.
If you have any questions about how SharePoint or Office 365 as a whole could be the right way to move to the Cloud for your company, please feel free to contact us.