As 2014 comes to a close, more small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) with field teams are looking towards using the Cloud for data storage. In fact, projections say that by 2020, four out of five SMBs will be “fully adapted” to the Cloud. Additionally, the growing number of field-based software solutions aimed at SMBs means small companies can take advantage of specialized solutions that will fit their individual needs. Though adopting Cloud storage and implementing new software are individually beneficial, consider these two key advantages to getting them in the same package.
1. Creates a Focused Workflow
SMBs with field teams all face two similar challenges: data storage and communication. With some businesses having up to 45% of their workforce performing their duties remotely, these challenges are likely to stay. Before Cloud storage, business managers had to rely on remote workers collecting data on paper and documenting it manually into a computer. Additionally, before field-based software solutions, the fastest way to communicate with these remote workers was through email or phone.
A recent study unsurprisingly found that managers spend up to 21% more time than desired doing administrative work, such as manually filling out spreadsheets and returning emails. Cloud storage saves time by allowing employees to upload data anytime, from anywhere. For teams with remote workers, Field Activity Management software has allowed field reps to upload data via their mobile phones. Choosing a software solution that is already enabled with Cloud abilities lets reps send and receive messages, instructions, and data all in the same interface. Rather than switching between tasks and losing focus, reps will be equipped with everything they need in one place.
2. Saves Money
For any field-based SMB, lowering costs and raising productivity are two main priorities. Enabling managers with Cloud storage means you will save money two ways. One, managers will have more time to focus on core activities, like sales, which will lead to increased revenue. Two, studies show that 40% of businesses who adopted Cloud storage needed less IT assistance overall. Today, many SMBs are seeking out software solutions that are already enabled with Cloud storage.
Purchasing software that is enabled with Cloud storage will eliminate having to pay for the two separately. Field Activity Management apps generally run anywhere from $30-500 per year, while Cloud services generally cost between $60-900 per year. Instead of paying for the two services separately, seek out a software solution that will provide the Cloud abilities your business requires.
Above and Beyond
As the new year arrives, SMBs are looking forward to using the advances in digital data storage through the Cloud and field-based software solutions that address communication challenges. For SMBs to truly take advantage of these two strategies, owners will need to seek out a tool that will provide both for one price. Combining Cloud storage and Field Activity Management software will create a more focused workforce and cut overall costs, launching your SMB above and beyond the competition.
Erin P. Friar
Erin Friar is a Content Marketing Journalist Intern at Repsly, Inc. and is completing a Journalism degree at Suffolk University. She is a master of grammar and is passionate about creating fresh content to help foster efficiency and overall success in small businesses.