Small Business Sunday: Run Your Business In The Cloud

Recently I’ve been moving just about every single part of my business into the cloud. This hasn’t been a completely new move for me as I really started storing most of my files online years ago. Of course this meant uploading everything to a remote directory via FTP rather than using one of the slick apps that uses the ever-so-popular word cloud to make the service hip and web 3.0ish. That being said it really isn’t all marketing, there is a movement going on and it makes a lot of sense, why store files, documents, really anything on your computer? In fact, why even run apps on your computer? Aren’t our computers just going to become thin clients someday soon…I think so and I’m getting pretty close to that reality.

This weekend I was talking with a friend about moving documents, products, and services to the cloud. In reviewing the solutions that I use I realized that the world of cloud computing is quite segmented at the moment. I find myself using a number of different services and I’d imagine that as we move forward in time, there will be one or two killer services that encompass most of our cloud-based needs.

Below is a list of the services I use to run my business in the cloud. At the end of the day there is something I really like about knowing that I could use any computer, anywhere in the world, and have access to the same environment I have on my desk at home. I also like the security of knowing that if my computer is stolen or website is hacked, there are backups, and backups of those backups out there. So if you’re ready to take the plunge, check-out these services below, I highly recommend them not because I’ve heard they’re great but because I use them every single day and know they are!

  1. Dropbox – this is #1 for a reason, I absolutely love Dropbox. Awesome company, amazing integration, and really easy to setup and use. It integrates across my Mac, iPad, and iPhone – what more could you want? I’ll answer my own question here…iCloud could be serious competition and I’ll be giving it a try when it comes-out but right now I’m proud to say that I’m a Dropbox fanatic.
  2. Google Apps – I’m not shy about saying that Microsoft products drive me crazy, they have, well…forever. Yes, I am a major Apple-fanboy but I just think MS has made some pretty clunky products over the years. Google Apps is great but it’s taken me a while to really switch, the major loss for me is Excel which I still use religiously on my Mac. Still I love the document sharing features and I think over time this solution will improve and I’d say I’m using Google Apps a majority of the time for office-based apps.
  3. Rackspace – I use a cloudserver at Rackspace for testing the software projects we are working on. It’s lightning fast and really easy to upgrade and they have absolutely phenomenal technical support.
  4. Spotify, Napster, Pandora, etc. – music is a major part of my life whether I’m working, sitting on the beach, at a bar, sporting event, club, you name it – I’m a huge music fan. All of my music lives in the cloud and I listen to music all day while I’m working. Heck, even when I get a phone call I keep my music on, I just turn it down a bit.
  5. VaultPress – I backup my WordPress sites using VaultPress so that they are constantly being saved and updated in the cloud. While I hate it when my blog(s) gets hacked, it happens, and being able to go back in time quickly and easily is a great feeling.
  6. CodeGuard – all of our code is also backed-up in the cloud and monitored by CodeGuard. If you have one or more software projects you are working on CodeGuard can provide great peace-of-mind knowing that your code is constantly being backed-up.

I’m sure that I’ve missed a few services here but it’s Sunday night at 8:30PM and I’m getting ready to make an amazing stir fry with tofu, baby bok choy, and green onions. It’s late for you too so get your head out of the clouds and save the work for Monday…now time to take my own advice 🙂

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton