Some small businesses rise and fall on collaboration. You have data or documents that need to receive input from several people on a team, yet providing proper access can be a challenge. You can email the files from one person to the next, but with every additional person that receives the attachment you create an entirely new – and potentially divergent – version of the file.
Networked storage is a good option, but not all small businesses have a centralized file server where the team can access files. Even if you do, chances are the team can’t access those files remotely.
That’s where online storage comes in. Online storage platforms can provide small businesses with unique opportunities for collaboration in a controlled environment.
How online storage for teams can boost efficiency
The basic premise is this: a single file is created and stored via an online storage platform. Access is then granted to everyone on the team.
Each team member can, in turn, access and modify the file based on their roles. No divergent versions of the file are created in the process.
Depending on the particular platform you’re using, you may even be able to track change management. So, if you’re editing a shared document, the storage management platform will actually keep a record of who made what changes and when. This provides your team with the kind of change management necessary for optimal efficiency.
Moving information through the life cycle
Online storage platforms can be used to create, develop, and even deliver a file to a client. Let’s look at one example that a small business might face:
- The company has developed a new product. The product specialist enters information about the product into a document via an online storage platform.
- The marketing specialist takes that information and builds a sales presentation around it. That might take the form of printed material, for example, or it could be something like a PowerPoint presentation.
- Throughout the entire process, the owner, product specialist, and salesperson can all view and collaborate on the file.
- The sales person then enters the field. On site at a client location, they open the presentation from the same online storage platform, giving the client a view of the new product information.
At each stage, the online storage platform provides flexible access as well as change management.
Integrating online storage with project management
Online storage can become an integral part of your project management process, as well. As the file is passed from one person to the next, certain milestones are achieved. There are some online storage platforms that even include project management options, letting you attach a given file to a specific project and specific milestones.
If any of the teams in your small business frequently collaborate on files, check into an online storage option today. You’ll be surprised just how much more efficient and flexible your document management process will be with this revolutionary technology.
About the Guest Post Author: Eric Greenwood is a technophile whose interests include all things in the cloud-technology movement from software as a service to online storage. Get more tips and advice on the blog Online Storage!